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Body shop, Victim Assistance Unit, help assault victim with car repairs

Publish Date 07/27/2016

For more information, contact:
KCPD Media Unit

An area body shop has repaired the vehicle of a woman who was the victim of a violent crime at no cost.

On June 9, Desari Lathrop was pulling into the parking lot of a pharmacy at 63rd and Prospect when a man came running up to her car and tried to get inside the passenger door. It was locked, so he climbed onto the roof and fell into the sunroof in her car. He assaulted her and tried to grab the steering wheel, and Lathrop and the suspect fought for control of the car. During the struggle, Lathrop’s car ran into another parked car, causing thousands of dollars in damage to her vehicle.

The suspect went on to attempt to break into multiple other cars in the parking lot, occupied and unoccupied. Police arrived and took him into custody. He had a federal weapons violation warrant, and investigation continues on the other incidents.

When members of the KCPD Victim Assistance Unit contacted Lathrop after the incident to let her know about the progress of the investigation and about the resources available to crime victims, officers learned she could not pay for repairs to her 2000 Pontiac GT. Lathrop is a full-time student at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

So the Victim Assistance Unit staff started calling body shops around Kansas City to see if anyone would be willing to donate their repair services. After many declined, staff reached out to Alex Kulinek with Prestige KC Auto. Kulinek agreed to perform the more-than $3,000 in repairs for free.

Lathrop’s car is now as good as new thanks to Alex Kulinek with Prestige KC Auto and the members of the KCPD Victim Assistance Unit. Lathrop, Kulinek and KCPD Sergeant Darrel Rocker will be available for interviews at 10:30 a.m. Thursday, July 28, at Prestige KC Auto, 3111 Roanoke. They will not be able to discuss the pending criminal case.