SPOKANE, Wash. - For the third time in a month, a transient has been assaulted, with Tuesday's early morning assault on the lower South Hill leaving the victim with life-threatening injuries.
The victim was found near the intersection of 7th and Bernard Tuesday morning seriously beaten with a skull fracture. He was listed as a patient at a nearby detox center and, according to detectives, around 3 a.m. he left the center, walked about a block and set down his gear.
Three hours later someone driving by the parking lot saw the man bleeding from the head and called 9-1-1.
"At this point we know he's been assaulted, we're not sure about a weapon or anything like that, he's got life-threatening injuries, he's being treated right now and major crimes detectives are on scene collecting evidence," Spokane Police Sergeant Brad Hallock said.
The man is not expected to survive his injuries.
Detectives don't think the man was attacked as part of a robbery because they found his backpack and identification nearby. Investigators say they are pretty sure the man, who was possibly still intoxicated, might have fell down on his own.
"Some of the injuries are more severe than simply tripping and falling, but again that's part of our investigation, to determine if that's in fact a possibility. Right now it doesn't look like it," Spokane Police Commander Brad Arleth said.
Paramedics transported the victim to Deaconess Medical Center for treatment of his injuries. Unfortunately the victim never regained consciousness, giving detectives very little to go on.
"Pretty much we know where he was found, that he has some pretty severe injuries that required surgery to try to save his life, and we're doing [some] follow up in the area to see what we can find so we can retrace his path from the overnight hours," Arleth said.
Detectives would also like to talk to any early morning commuters who may have driven through the area of 7th and Washington and saw something suspicious.
If you have any information on this case you can share you're asked to call 242-TIPS.