Police investigate Ind. man's severe injuries

September 23, 2010 2:51:39 PM PDT
An Indiana man is hospitalized, but how he was injured remains a mystery. Shane Erickson's family says he was attacked outside of a Chesterton bar. Police say he fell after leaving the pub.

The police investigation continued into the incident as Erickson remained hospitalized Thursday with a severe skull fracture.

And while some first thought that the Chesterton's man's injuries were the result of a drunken fall, his family says they believe he was victim of an vicious attack.

Thursday afternoon, detectives still hadn't been able to find anyone who would admit to seeing what happened.

"He's just a really loving husband," wife Christine Erickson said.

Christine Erickson talked about her husband of nearly two years just days after he was critically injured outside a neighborhood pub.

"He's just a good Christian man, that never hurt anybody that asked him for anything. I don't understand why somebody would do this to that type of person," Christine Erickson said.

But just how the 34-year old ended up with a fractured skull is unclear. The incident apparently began Sunday night after he walked to a popular bar to meet a friend. Erickson's wife says it was supposed to be break from his seven-day-a-week job inspecting foreclosed homes.

While Shane stayed, his friend left just after 11 p.m. Moments later, someone found the young father on the ground near the building's front door. His personal belongings were found inside the bar.

Shane was conscious but unresponsive and because he smelled of alcohol, the people who found him first believed that he had fallen. But an emergency room doctor at the hospital where he was taken told police his injuries were the result of an attack.

Detectives are still trying to figure out what happened.

"At this point, we're trying to gather as much information as we can to see if there is a crime," said Chief David Cincoski of the Chesterton Police Department.

Thursday afternoon, Erickson remained at Loyola University Medical Center where he was airlifted. He hasn't been able to open his eyes or speak more than a work or two as doctors fight to stop his brain from swelling.

His parents and sister drove in from Arizona.

"It was terrible not knowing exactly what happened, exactly what he looks like, and exactly what the future will be for him," the man's mother told ABC7 Chicago.

Meanwhile, Christine Erickson keeps working on their shared at-home business and caring for their 18-month old daughter while still hoping someone who was there the night her husband got hurt will do the right thing.

"I don't understand how somebody could do that. What does that mean? What's the world coming to?" she said.

Christine Erickson says she works to keep up with the couple's two car payments and the mortgage on the house they just bought in March. Sunday is their second wedding anniversary.

Shane's family says he is showing some improvement.

So far, no surgeries are scheduled but doctors he's not out in the clear yet and has a long recovery ahead of him.


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