The man found dead early Sunday outside a home near Huntertown was beaten to death, according to autopsy results from the Allen County Coroner’s Office.
Police have arrested a man in connection to the killing, which a witness told police was prompted by the suspect’s views on sexual orientation, according to court records.
A resident in the 1300 block of Monte Carlo Drive in the Classic Heights addition, just outside Huntertown, called Allen County police just after 4 a.m. Sunday after a man knocked on the door and asked for help.
When officers arrived at the addition off West Cedar Canyons Road, they found a man lying in the road. That man, later identified as Paul J. Michalik, 36, was pronounced dead at the scene.
Michalik, of Fort Wayne, died from blunt-force trauma to his head, according to the coroner’s office. His death has been ruled a homicide, the 14th in Allen County this year, and only the second that has occurred outside Fort Wayne.
Two men, including Brian Paul Brothers, 35, of Huntertown, were questioned at the scene. Brothers is charged with a preliminary felony count of aggravated battery in connection with Michalik’s death, according to Allen Superior Court records filed Monday.
According to court records, a witness told police he and Michalik were beaten up by Brothers because of their sexual orientation. Police said Monday the slaying remains under investigation. It was unclear Monday night whether it was being investigated as a possible hate crime.
The witness and Michalik had gone to Brothers’ home on Monte Carlo Drive to attend a party Saturday night. The witness told police Brothers punched and kicked Michalik’s head and torso.
When questioned by police, Brothers said he was defending himself. He admitted to hitting both the witness and Michalik – but only after Michalik had pushed him, records state. After the altercation, Brothers helped carry Michalik out of his house.
Brothers said he then went back into his house and did not call police. Brothers had some bruising on one hand, and possible bruising on his other hand – but no other visible signs he had been attacked, court records said.
Brothers was being held Monday night at the Allen County Lockup in lieu of $20,000 bail.
Amanda Coral Knox, of Huntertown, said she was best friends with Michalik for the past six years. The two worked together at an area day spa and salon.
He just loved to have fun and would never hurt anybody, she said. He had a lot of friends. He loved people.
Knox said Michalik, who also went by the nickname Pauly, was from Chicago. She said he moved to Fort Wayne more than a dozen years ago, along with his life partner of 17 years. Michalik worked as a hairstylist at the salon, on and off for a total of six years.
In his spare time, Michalik enjoyed the outdoors, the pool and camping. He also enjoyed music, and his favorite artist was Madonna, Knox said.
Knox said Michalik’s partner, who was also at the party, told her the altercation ensued after Brothers saw Michalik sleeping on his new couch – with his shoes on.
I’m just disgusted (with what happened), she said. If Paul was asked to leave, he would have left.
Michalik’s supervisor, salon owner Shannon Simpson, said Michalik did not deserve to die this way.
He had one of the best spirits that I’ve ever known, she said. He would do anything for anyone. He brought life to everyone, complimented everyone. He just lived life to the fullest every moment of every day.
Funeral arrangements are being prepared at Midwest Funeral Home & Cremation Society in Fort Wayne. Michalik is survived by his mother and two brothers, Knox said.