WASHINGTON (WUSA9) -- Not one but two Marines were brutally attacked on February 12 in two unrelated incidents.
One attack happened at a McDonald's when two teenagers assaulted and robbed a veteran Marine.
A second Marine, 35-year-old Michael Schroeder, was left for dead after a being attacked in Northwest D.C. that same day, according to his family.
Temperatures had dropped down to the teens in weather reports. Lying in the cold, dragged between two cars, face-down, head bashed-in and cash missing is how Schroeder’s family says police found him in the Glover Park neighborhood. Thankfully a dad and son driving by in a taxi saw Schroeder and called the authorities.
“It’s an angel whoever found him and I’m very, very grateful,” said the victim’s mother, Diedre Schroeder. She cried recounting the phone call. Her son was missing all day until his twin brother found the 35-year-old at George Washington Hospital.
Michael Schroeder suffered a fractured skull, a severe concussion, there were head staples, convulsions, fevers and he could hardly speak, according to his family.
“Michael could’ve died that night,” Deidre Schroeder said.
The worst part is the family really doesn’t know what happened.
“I wasn’t trying to find trouble. I was actually just trying to walk home,” said Michael Schroeder in a softened voice.
That’s the last thing Schroeder, an Operation Iraqi Freedom Marine, says he remembers. He was out drinking with friends that night and separated to go home. In nearby surveillance cameras, you see Schroeder near Wisconsin Avenue NW before 2 a.m. He cuts through a parking lot to 37th Street NW, but after he turns the next thing he remembers is ambulance lights.
A D.C police report says two officers responded to a 911 call and found Schroeder laying face-down between town cars. The report says he felt very cold, appeared highly intoxicated and was bleeding from the back of his head.
Surveillance video shows Schroeder walking through a parking lot at around 1:34 a.m. Police say they responded at around 2:47 a.m. but that same surveillance footage shows the ambulance arrival time as about an hour later, at around 3:47 a.m. The family believes the actual emergency response time was 3:47 a.m.
Schroeder’s twin brother, who is also a Marine, believes Michael was there for at least an hour and said that, according to doctors, his injuries are consistent with someone attacking from behind.
“This will probably go down as an assault or attempted robbery but when you hit somebody in the head and that hard enough to fracture their skull with something harder than a metal or fist, it should be looked at as attempted murder.”
“It’s hard for me to understand because there would’ve been zero reason for it,” said Michael Schroeder on why anyone would do something like this. The Marine told WUSA9 he still has his cell phone and I.D. but anywhere from $40 to $60 is missing from his pocket.
“This isn’t funny. This isn’t a joke. This is a very serious matter and this is in a lovely neighborhood of Washington D.C,” said Deidre Schroeder, hoping to bring awareness. More than anything, she hopes someone may help find whoever did this.
The police report is how the family learned that a father and son called 911. Police tell us they have not identified a suspect and do not believe this is related to any other attacks in the District.
A GoFundMe page has been createdGoFundMe page has been created to help Schroeder pay for his medical expenses. The family tells WUSA9 any extra money will go to the Recon and Sniper Foundation, a veteran non-profit.
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