A 61-year-old Lyons man accused of trying to drown his girlfriend in a bathtub inside a Riverside coach house in 2013 was sentenced to five years in prison after pleading guilty to one count of unlawful restraint during a Nov. 17 court hearing at the Maybrook courthouse before Judge Geary W. Kull.
Michael Bruner had been held at Cook County Jail since his arrest in Riverside on Sept. 7, 2013. He is being held at the Dixon Correction Center and is eligible for parole in March 2016.
He previously served time in state prison after being convicted in 2004 of burglary, an offense that earned him seven years. He was also previously convicted of possessing a stolen vehicle. Riverside police said that Bruner’s criminal history stretches back to 1974 and includes arrests in California, Colorado and Utah for burglary, theft, forgery and drunken driving.
Prior to the 2013 incident, Riverside police had arrested Bruner before. In 2012, police charged Bruner with domestic assault after he allegedly battered the same woman and locked her in a shed at the same Lawton Road address for a short time. But the case was dropped, police said, when the victim refused to cooperate with police.
On Sept. 7, 2013, the victim, a 53-year-old woman, called police stating Bruner had just tried to kill her. The victim and Bruner initially got into an argument over the thermostat setting inside the coach house on Lawton Road and later over some missing prescription pills, according to police.
Bruner reportedly shoved the victim into a partially filled bathtub, choked her and pushed her face under water three times, stating, “I’m going to kill you.”
But the victim told police she was able to break free and run out of the coach house, where she called police. Officers apprehended Bruner as he attempted to flee the scene.
Initially, the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office charged Bruner with attempted murder and aggravated domestic battery. Those two charges were dropped in exchange for a guilty plea on the unlawful restraint charge.