Oak Lawn police want to know how a 51-year-old man came to receive severe head injuries after he was found slumped on his front doorstep where he had apparently been lying unconscious all night.
The man’s family—who say their loved one is fighting for his life at Advocate Christ Medical Center under the name “John Doe—thinks he was intentionally beaten.
Police have opened an investigation.
The saga began on Tuesday, Jan. 29, when an older brother picked up John Doe at his home in the 10900 block of South Komensky Ave. for an evening of pool at the Town Lounge in Hometown. John Doe's older brother says he dropped him off at his residence around 11:30 p.m., although security video shows both brothers leaving the Town Lounge at approximately 1 a.m.
Police said the older brother drove off and did not wait to see if John Doe entered his house.
The next morning, around 6:15 a.m., John Doe’s girlfriend found him unconscious on his front doorstep. As first she thought he had passed out after a night of drinking. She called the brother whom John Doe had spent the evening with and went into the house to get a flashlight. When she saw her boyfriend's face she called 911.
“He was beaten beyond recognition,” John Doe’s sister-in-law told Patch. “It looked like his face had been scraped. He’d been lying out in the rain all night.”
John Doe was still in possession of his gold chain and cross; family members said it looked like the cross had been damaged, possibly in some sort of struggle.
“Whoever did this to him didn’t rob a thing,” his brother said. “All [the alleged attacker] had to do was look into the front picture window of the house. There was probably $10,000 worth of power tools. His keys and wallet were still in his pockets.”
Family members describe John Doe as a “homebody” who was adding a new addition his house in preparation for his girlfriend and her children to move in with him.
“He’d been working on the house for the past couple of months,” his brother said. “He didn’t have money to go out. He was unemployed.”
John Doe has been in a coma in intensive care ever since. The family has him registered as a “John Doe” to protect him from further harm.
The family said their first contact with Oak Lawn police was the next evening, Wednesday, after the 51-year-old man’s forehead was removed in surgery to alleviate brain swelling. He has also suffered a series of strokes due to severe head trauma.
Police said they have investigated several leads but have yet to uncover evidence to substantiate a possible beating. Division Chief Michael Kaufmann, of the Oak Lawn Police Department, said the hospital reported that John Doe was intoxicated.
“We are still investigating,” Kaufmann said. “We understand the family is upset. We are speaking to many people.”
The family acknowledges the 51-year-old man had been drinking shots and beer at the Town Lounge while watching his brother compete in a pool league last Tuesday.
Family members said he had bruises all over his front, back and arms as if warding off blows. They claim to have taken pictures of his injuries.
“Somebody waited in the bushes and beat him into a coma and left him for dead,” his younger brother alleged.
To complicate matters, the hospital apparently disposed of John Doe’s clothes, wallet, ID and house keys because they were considered “bio-hazardous,” his family said.
Oak Lawn police confirmed that the hospital threw out John Doe’s stuff.
Meanwhile, the family was waiting for another brother to arrive from out of state on Sunday before decided whether to take their injured brother off life support. His younger brother said the family was informed by doctors there is no brain activity.
Police ask anyone who might have seen or heard anything suspicious in the area of 109th Street and Komensky Avenue between 1 and 6 a.m. Jan. 30, to call them with information at 708-422-8292.