A BMW owner looking to sell placed an ad online offering $46,000 for the sedan, but he ended up being beaten and stabbed, found barely alive in the trunk after the sale went awry. Police on Saturday were searching for the man they believe was responsible for the assault -- and cautioned against being too trusting of Internet meet-ups.
Barion Blake, 30, was last seen running away from the scene of a fender-bender after the BMW rear-ended a taxi in the snowy weather in New York City on Wednesday. When police were called to the scene, they discovered Akeem Ajimotokan in the trunk.
Blake, who was previously convicted of stealing BMWs, was identified in a police photo lineup as the man driving Ajimotokan's, and his name was on the handwritten bill of sale found in the car, dated Tuesday, police said. Ajimotokan was hospitalized in stable condition Friday but was unconscious; authorities have not been able to interview him.
Ajimotokan, a lawyer who works at Columbia University, had placed the ad on Cars.com. He included his home number in his description of the fully loaded, 2008 metallic blue BMW M3. It's not entirely clear how long the ad was online.
Authorities believe Blake contacted Ajimotokan and went to his home in West New York, N.J., not far from Manhattan, sometime Tuesday evening.
At around 3 a.m. Wednesday, Blake and another man were spotted in Nassau County, on New York's Long Island, outside the BMW on the side of the road near Jericho Turnpike, and Nassau police said it looked like they were switching license plates. When the officer approached them, they sped off and, in the thick snow, the police car overturned while pursuing them.
Police believe Ajimotokan was already bloodied, in the trunk at that time. But he wasn't discovered for six more hours, when Blake, now alone, rear-ended a taxi in the snow, in upper Manhattan, miles away from Nassau County.
The BMW's interior was bloody and the officers noticed that part of the rear seat was missing, which led them to the gruesome discovery: Ajimotokan had been stabbed in the head and body, his ear partially sliced off. His hands were bound behind his back with plastic ties.