PORTLAND, Maine — Portland police are now waiting for two victims of recent beatings, both with what a top officer called “remarkably similar” injuries including broken skulls and facial bones, to regain consciousness.
Jeffrey Fry, 47, remains comatose at Maine Medical Center after police found him severely injured, unconscious and left on a wooded path near the end of Sewall Street Sunday night, Lt. Scott Pelletier told the Bangor Daily News on Wednesday.
On Aug. 30, police were called to Montgomery Street to find a 25-year-old woman similarly beaten, also with extensive fractures in her skull and facial bones. Pelletier said that nearly a month later, the woman, like Fry, remains in the hospital and is unresponsive.
Police have made arrests in both cases, but Pelletier said investigators are still hoping to have an opportunity to interview the victims.
“There’s no change in Mr. Fry’s condition,” Pelletier said. “We have not been able to speak to him, not unlike the other victim we had. The woman has not recovered. She is still alive, but she has not regained consciousness, and now it’s been more than three weeks. We made an arrest, and now we’re still waiting to see what happens next.”
In the Sunday night case, police arrested Adam J. Delano, 23, and charged him with aggravated assault. Investigators said witnesses statements led them to Delano, who was still nearby when taken into custody nearly five hours after the alleged attack. Police said they believe both Delano and Fry were homeless and that they knew each other.
In the Aug. 30 case, officers arrested Eric M. Gwaro, 28, of Scarborough, and charged him with aggravated assault less than 24 hours after the 3 a.m. incident.
“There’s no connection between the four people — the two suspects and the two victims — that we can determine,” Pelletier said. “But the injuries in these cases are remarkably similar.”
Pelletier said if either of the victims succumbs to the injuries, charges against the suspect in his or her case would be elevated to manslaughter or murder. In the meantime, he said, prosecutors are preparing to pursue aggravated assault charges in both cases.