Things are moving slowly in the case of Jussie Smollett who was attacked in a racist and homophobic assault while walking to his apartment building in Chicago after stopping at a Subway for a sandwich. So far, police have identified two persons of interest who were caught on video surveillance cameras in the area where the attack occurred, and according to TMZ, they also have video of Jussie walking into the lobby of his apartment building with the rope he says was used during the attack around his neck. And apparently, The New York Post has been doing some detective leg-work themselves and have uncovered a hot sauce bottle that might have contained bleach, a substance that was reportedly used during the attack.
According to NYP:
The assailants allegedly punched Smollett in the face, doused him with a liquid — believed to be bleach — and tied a rope around his neck in an underpass between the Sheraton and Loews Chicago hotels.
Last week, The Post traced Smollett’s likely route to the underpass from a 24-hour Subway sandwich shop where he bought a tuna sandwich and a salad.
Near the foot of a stairwell to the Loews, The Post found an empty hot sauce bottle that was partially filled with a clear liquid that smelled like bleach.
The Post alerted police, who seized the bottle. Guglielmi said it was turned over to the FBI for analysis.
It sounds like a promising lead and I hope whoever found that bottle has watched enough episodes of CSI to know how to handle the evidence appropriately, which everybody knows means crouching down and picking it up with a pen and saying “Hot Cha Cha” under your breath.
TMZ also reports that Jussie has also provided police with a copy of his phone records from that night (Jussie was on the phone with his manager at the time of the attack), however he’s being asked to re-submit those because the format provided was unacceptable. Jussie gave the police a “heavily redacted” PDF of his phone bill (he needn’t have bothered, nobody wants Baby Wipes Howard’s private toilet-side number) but the police require either an actual bill or download directly from his phone. A rep for Jussie has said:
Jussie has voluntarily provided his phone records from within an hour of the attack and given multiple statements to police. Chicago PD has repeatedly informed us that they find Jussie’s account of what happened that night consistent and credible. Superintendent Johnson has been clear from day one that Jussie is a victim.
Let’s hope that bottle is good evidence and wasn’t just there circumstantially because the only way to stomach a sandwich from Subway is to douse it in hot sauce and bleach.