Rear porch fight leaves man on life support

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By BILL DWYER

A post-midnight fight over a woman on a second floor porch Aug. 12 has left a 30-year-old Berwyn man on life support and a Midlothian man being held in Cook County Jail without bail.

When police responded to a disturbance call at a three-flat in the 900 block of Elgin around 12:30 a.m. that Saturday night, they found the man lying in the alley below a porch, unconscious and bleeding from the head. The victim's girlfriend and another man were attempting to control the bleeding.

The man was transported to Loyola Medical Center, where it was determined he had suffered "massive head trauma and had bleeding on the brain. As of Monday he was being kept alive on a ventilator. Police did not release the name of the victim.

The alleged assailant, Tommy W. Henley, 36, had reportedly shown up at the residence several times earlier throughout the day, demanding each time to know where his wife was, and angry that his wife "was prostituting herself for money." He reportedly became "angrier with each visit," according to a police report.

On his last visit to the apartment, Henley reportedly confronted the other man on a second story rear porch and again demanded to know his wife's whereabouts. At that point Henley, who is described as 5 feet 5 inches tall, 185 pounds and muscular, allegedly punched the other man, who staggered backwards and broke through the porch railing.

The man fell some 15 feet to a concrete alley pavement below, after which Henley fled in his car.

While at least three people in or near the apartment at the time heard the loud argument, police say no one actually witnessed the whole incident. However, a neighbor in the building directly south of the three-flat told police he heard yelling and "a load cracking noise coming from the three flat." The neighbor went to the alley, where he said he observed a man he'd seen visit the residence numerous times earlier that day enter a brown older model Ford and drive off. He then saw the victim laying prone in the alley.

Henley was arrested two days later and charged with aggravated battery. Because his alleged victim is not expected to survive, he is being held without bond. He had a court date Tuesday morning after press time at the Maybrook Courthouse.

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