An East Tennessee State University student remained hospitalized Friday after being assaulted in his off-campus apartment last week.
Joseph Geiger, father of critically injured ETSU junior Haden Geiger, said in a telephone interview his son was removed from the intensive care unit this week and was placed on the neurology unit at Johnson City Medical Center, after a witness said a man kicked down his apartment door and began beating him.
In a report, police said the incident occurred around 9:45 p.m. on April 25. Police responded to the apartment complex after a report of suspicious activity around apartment No. 24.
When they arrived, police found Haden Geiger, 21, covered in blood and stumbling around the apartment.
Police noted in the report that frames had been ripped off the walls and a large amount of blood was all over the living room floor and walls.
Police said Haden Geiger was “clearly high on an unknown substance. He stated he had taken nitrous oxide, then oxycodone, (then) he stated he had taken K-2. Upon being asked multiple times what had happened to him he stated it happened at MMA (mixed martial arts) training earlier.”
According to police, Geiger would then tell police that nothing had happened.
Haden’s father, Joseph, said Thursday his son did not know the man who had beaten him up, calling the assailant “assassin” and “killer.”
“After the attack he had multiple fractures. He has bruising on his chest and his back. It all seems to be on Haden’s left side,” the older Geiger said. “Haden is able to recall more now and he talked about this assassin ... that came bursting through the apartment and had a loaded gun and was screaming and told him to lie down, facedown, on the floor. First he asked if he had any drugs and pain medicine. Haden said ‘no’.”
He said Haden had told him that his attacker then proceeded to kick and “stomp” his head and try to kill him.
According to his father, Haden’s jaws were wired shut. He still had a tracheotomy tube in, and the family was looking into moving him to Vanderbilt University Medical Center, so that he would be closer to his hometown in Mt. Juliet. He said his son had improved, and he hoped Haden would be able to recover.
“It was a random, senseless event,” Joseph said. “Anybody else should have been dead. How Haden lived, I don’t know.”
In a statement provided to the father, Gerald C. Perea II reported seeing a man shouting and cursing in the apartment complex and later leaving Haden’s apartment after the incident with large headphones and a large backpack or rucksack on. The man left with a bicycle, leaving the apartment door open. The witness reportedly called 911.
Perea said he spoke to JCPD investigators this past Thursday and identified a man in the lineup.