OAKDALE, Minn. (KMSP) - An Iraq war veteran is finally home from Regions Hospital after being assaulted and left for dead in an Oakdale, Minn. parking lot nearly a month ago. Although investigators have received several tips, no arrests have been made.
The victim, Brian, is doing much better now compared to a few weeks ago when he couldn’t even talk. But he still has a long ways to go -- he can't work, can't drive, and continues to require 24-hour care after his collar bone was broken in two places and he suffered a traumatic brain injury.
“The problem is my speech,” Brian said. “The spot also of the brain of the speech. I often am missing words or the wrong words. “
On Oct. 23, Brian had just put his home up for sale and planned to spend the weekend at the Oakdale Best Western hotel during showings because it's dog-friendly. He remembers going across the parking for nachos and a few beers at Sgt. Peppers.
“Going on the patio… Walking on the little pond area... And that was the last memory I do have,” he said.
According to Oakdale police, Brian went back to the hotel lobby that night to call 9-1-1 about his phone being stolen. By the time they arrived, he was laying the parking lot. Doctors believe he was hit in the back of the head with something similar to a hammer.
Brian recalls nothing about the next eight to nine days.
“It was 26 days ago that this happened, I didn't know at one point if he'd ever even leave the hospital again,” Brian said. “That evening I was very nice to people, nothing went wrong. I do not understand it at all. I think I was a victim. I know I did nothing wrong.”
Anyone with information is asked to call Oakdale police. Brian and his family are anxious for answers about who did this to him, but more importantly, they’re glad this veteran could finally come home.
“Veterans Day is a special day anyway, but this one will always have a special place in my heart,” he said.
Aside from being home, Brian has another reason to celebrate. The house he was trying to sell which started all of his finally sold. So things are looking up.