GRAHAM COUNTY – Was a man beaten or were the injuries self-sustained? That is the question a deputy had to answer Monday afternoon.
A man claimed to have been beaten by his son after he disallowed a visit by his son’s girlfriend to their shared residence, but a deputy’s investigation concluded the injuries likely to be caused by a fall due to complications of the man’s diabetic condition.
A deputy was dispatched to the area of W. 49th Place at about 3:47 p.m. regarding a medical assist. A caller had described a man in his 50’s who was bleeding and had possibly been beaten.
The deputy wasn’t able to locate the injured man at first, but paramedics from Southwest Ambulance said they saw a man who matched the injured person’s description hiding in some bushes north of the intersection of 49th Place and 20th Avenue.
Upon contact, the injured man was unsteady on his feet and informed the deputy that he was diabetic and that his blood sugar was very high and he didn’t feel well.
The officer asked if the man’s injuries were caused by a fall, but the injured man said his son had caused them after an argument over the son’s girlfriend visiting his conversion van residence. He said his son had elbowed him in his face and then struck him in the back of his head with a pool stick.
As he was being led to the ambulance, the injured man lost his balance and stumbled several times as if intoxicated, according to the Sheriff’s Office report. The deputy asked him if he had drank any alcohol, but the injured man said he hasn’t had any alcohol since 1978 and that his uneasiness on his feet was related to his diabetes.
The injured man told the deputy he didn’t want to press charges against his son for assault and that he just wanted medical attention. He was then transported to Mt. Graham Regional Medical Center for treatment.
The officer continued his investigation at the injured man’s conversion van residence and interviewed a neighbor and an acquaintance who was bringing over supplies to the residence.
The neighbor said she had witnessed the two men have a verbal argument early that morning, but the son left afterward and had not returned.
The woman delivering supplies said the injured man often looses his balance and falls frequently when his blood sugar is high and that his condition often causes him to appear as if he was drunk.
The deputy searched that area and located dozens of hypodermic needles around the van but did not locate any pool sticks, blood or any other signs an altercation had taken place.
Through his investigation, the deputy concluded the man’s injuries were likely caused by an accidental fall and not by an assault.