WATERLOO | A Waterloo man remains unconscious in a hospital with grave head injuries as police try to determine what happened to him.
A passerby found 69-year-old Dennis Dwaine Washburn unconscious in the grass near the defunct Longfellow Elementary School around 12:30 a.m. Monday. He was taken to University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City, where doctors found head wounds and other injuries, according to his daughter, April Washburn.
“He’s basically in a coma. They have him on a ventilator. He has a broken neck, fractures in his face, he has a big, baseball-size knot on his forehead,” April Washburn said.
“They drilled a hole in his skull to drain off fluid,” she said.
Investigators believe the injuries came from more than a simple fall and suspect he may have been the victim of a robbery.
His daughter said his wallet was located about 100 to 200 feet away. His walker was found closer to him but was located on the sidewalk, she said.
“With the injuries he has, there is no way he fell down,” April Washburn said.
Family members have been able retrace some of Dennis Washburn’s whereabouts leading up to his injuries.
April Washburn said she saw him at 10 a.m. Sunday, and he appeared fine. He was later seen at the Jet Lounge on West Parker Street -- about half a mile from the former school on Edwards Street -- alone and left about 9 p.m., walking east.
Dennis Washburn doesn’t drive and lives on Leland Avenue, more than two miles from the Jet. It wasn’t clear how he arrived at the nightclub.
When he departed the Jet, he had a crate of groceries mounted on his walker, she said.
The groceries were found with the walker. April Washburn said she didn’t know if the wallet had been emptied.
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