This is a true case of not being able to trust the person on the other side of the computer. Akeem AjimotokanÂ met with a guy in Mahattan to sell his blue M3 BMW and ended up beaten, tied up, stabbed and left to die in the trunk of his own car. Read the full story below.
(NYT)-His family calls him â€œOlakunle,â€ a name that means â€œthe wealth that fills the houseâ€ in the Yoruba language of Nigeria, where Akeem Ajimotokan grew up adored as the youngest of four boys.
But Mr. Ajimotokanâ€™s real richness, his family said Monday, is in the trust and generosity he has always showered on others â€” unconditionally and, as it turned out, fatefully.
Mr. Ajimotokan had no reason to think that selling his electric blue BMW M3 coupe on the Internet would leave him inÂ a coma clinging to life, his brother, Ayo Ajim, said.
â€œHe is very trusting, very friendly, very lovable, the kind of guy who would believe in the best of everyone,â€ said Dr. Ajim, an emergency medicine doctor in Houston.
Mr. Ajimotokan, 33, was found by the police on Wednesday morning, tied up and unconscious in the trunk of his car. He had been brutally beaten and stabbed, his ear partly severed.
Investigators are searching for a suspect who they said had posed as a prospective buyer, identified by the police as Barion A. Blake, an ex-convict with many previous arrests, including for stealing BMWs.
Mr. Blake, according to the police, was last seen walking away from theÂ BMW on 10th Avenue and Dyckman Street in Manhattan after crashing the car into a livery cab.
Mr. Ajimotokan was still in a coma, Dr. Ajim said, but the family decided to move him from Harlem Hospital on Monday to an undisclosed New York hospital for privacy after the gruesome case drew an uncontrollable amount of attention.
â€œHe is doing a little better,â€ Dr. Ajim said from Houston. â€œHe is moving his hands and legs, and that is positive. We hope the worst period is over.â€
Of Mr. Blakeâ€™s previous arrests, six came in New York City, the police said, and his two most recent arrests â€” for criminal possession ofÂ marijuana and criminal trespassing â€” occurred in November, both in Inwood, in Upper Manhattan. Prosecutors requested bail for both arrests, but Criminal Court records indicate that no bail was set, according to the Manhattan district attorneyâ€™s office.
â€œWhatâ€™s so horrifying,â€ Dr. Ajim said of his brotherâ€™s attack, â€œis that if he felt that the man wanted to steal the car, he would have just given him the keys and let him go.â€
Just two weeks ago, Dr. Ajim said, he was teasing his baby brother about the flashy sports car when Mr. Ajimotokan picked him up from the airport.
â€œWe were just joking and I said, â€˜Lawyers canâ€™t drive this kind of car,â€™Â â€ he said.
Mr. Ajimotokan, who attended law school and had been working in the office of procurement atÂ Columbia University, just laughed and told his brother that he planned to sell it soon.
All four brothers grew up in Lagos, where their father, Tunde, was a corporate lawyer. On his deathbed in 1994, Dr. Ajim said, he told the 16-year-old Akeem that he wanted him to follow him into the profession.
After high school, Mr. Ajimotokan moved to New York to live with his oldest brother and sister-in-law, Alice, while both were residents at Bronx-Lebanon Hospital Center. Mr. Ajimotokan graduated from theÂ State University at Stony Brook in 2001 with a bachelor of arts degree, a spokeswoman said.
Mr. Ajimotokan attended Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law from 2001 until 2003 but did not graduate, according to a spokeswoman for the law school. He had also taken business school classes, his sister-in-law said. â€œHis little nieces just love him,â€ said Dr. Alice Ajim, who rushed to New York this weekend. â€œHe always sends them gifts at Christmas.â€
The family has received an outpouring of e-mails, calls andÂ Facebook messages from around the world.
â€œWe are so grateful that he was found when he was,â€ Dr. Ayo Ajim, who is also a minister at Grace International Church in Houston, said. â€œWe see it being the hand of God, nothing short of a miracle.â€