UPDATE: March 31, 2021
Riverside Police Chief Thomas Weitzel announced that detectives were able to interview the man found unconscious inside his Millbridge Road home on March 14. The man has recovered from his injuries, said Weitzel, and interviews with the man and medical personnel revealed that the man was not the victim of a battery.
Police have closed their criminal investigation, Weitzel said.
A 62-year-old Riverside man found unconscious and severely injured inside his home on March 14 probably suffered those injuries from a fall, said Riverside Police Chief Thomas Weitzel, who has received an update on the man’s condition from detectives who spoke to doctors where the man is being treated.
However, Weitzel said investigators still have not been able to interview the man, who remains in critical condition in intensive care, and detectives are treating the matter as they would a crime in order to preserve and collect evidence from the man’s Millbridge Road home.
Weitzel said his detectives are being assisted by others from the Major Case Assistance Team (MCAT), a suburban police task force that provides additional investigative muscle in special circumstances.
Police have locked down the house, said Weitzel, and have sought a search warrant to collect more evidence.
“We’re still preserving everything,” Weitzel said. “I want to be 100-percent sure, and until we speak to the patient, we’re not releasing the house.”
According to Weitzel, officers responded to the home in the 200 block of Millbridge Road on March 14 at about 2 p.m. after getting a 911 call from someone who reportedly was staying there.
Police found the man, unconscious and bleeding, in the living room next to the couch. Paramedics transported him to Loyola University Medical Center, where he remains.
Riverside police have responded to the home numerous times in past years, mostly for minor incidents, but occasionally for violent ones. The person found injured is the homeowner, police said, though he allows others to stay there from time to time.
Detectives interviewed four people who were said to be staying at the home, and police collected evidence, including DNA evidence, from the scene. Police said there did not appear to be signs of forced entry to the home.
On March 16, according to Weitzel, detectives received an update from doctors, who said the man’s injuries “were not consistent with a crime” and that they believe the man had been lying in the home for about six hours before police responded to the scene.
“They said the injuries were consistent with a fall, as were previous injuries he had which he was never treated for,” Weitzel said.