Saturday, May 25, 2013
Covering Dallas, Monmouth, Independence, Falls City and surrounding areas since 1868
June 20, 2012
INDEPENDENCE -- An Independence man was in a coma for nearly four days after being severely beaten while walking home June 9.
Samuel Fitts, 29, was attacked in the early morning hours near the corner of North Main and Grand streets in Independence.
He was walking home from a bar when the attack occurred, said Independence Police Chief Vern Wells.
Though suffering from wounds to his head and legs following the attack, Fitts was able to walk two blocks to his home, where police and paramedics were called.
Due to the severity of his injuries, Fitts wasn't able to answer questions about the assault.
"He was able to tell his folks a little bit, but not much," Wells said.
He was taken to Salem Hospital where he remained in coma until the evening of June 12. Fitts was released Friday.
A witness told police two subjects were attacking Fitts and on Wednesday police arrested Guadalupe Trujillo, 25, and Eleazar Martinez, 19, both of Independence. Martinez is charged with second-degree assault, third-degree assault, fourth-degree assault, harassment and disorderly conduct.
Trujillo is facing two counts of third-degree assualt, fourth-degree assault, harassment, disorderly conduct and tampering with evidence.
They were arraigned in Polk County Circuit Court on Thursday.
Police searched four residences frequented by the suspects at 629 G St., 715 G St., 414 N. Main St. and 164 Grand St. in Independence.
At those homes, police found bloody clothes and other evidence that may connect the suspects to the attack.
Wells said he didn't believe any weapons were used in the assault.
During the search at 629 G St., an officer was attacked by a pit bill. The officer had to shoot the dog to avoid injury. The dog was wounded and taken by its owner to a vet.
Martinez and Trujillo remain in custody at the Polk County Jail, on $132,500 and $55,000 bail, respectively.
Police are still investigating the incident. Anyone who may have witnessed the assault or interaction between the suspects and victim before the attack took place are asked to call Independence Police at 503-838-1214.