BY ANGIE JACKSON email@example.com
Traverse City Record-Eagle
---- — TRAVERSE CITY — Roy Loveland Jr.’s eyes welled as he spoke of his father’s excitement to start a new phase of his life.
Roy Loveland Sr., 65, recently left a bad living situation and finally embraced a sense of independence after a stroke that partially paralyzed the left side of his body. He and his son had summer plans to fix up his Blair Township trailer, where he lived modestly and alone.
But an intruder’s attack early this week put Loveland Sr. in the hospital and his goals on hold.
Grand Traverse County sheriff’s deputies showed up at his trailer on Monday morning after the elder Loveland called his son and said he didn’t feel well. Paramedics found a large pool of blood in the living room and him badly beaten and confused. His eyes were swollen shut.
Nearly every bone in Loveland Sr.’s face is broken, and he remains in critical condition at Munson Medical Center with a blood clot on his brain, his son said.
”When he came in here it was 50-50,” Loveland Jr. said from the hospital. “They didn’t know if he was going to make it overnight.”
Sheriff’s officials haven’t said much about the incident, other than that an older man was the target of an assault and detectives are following leads. They haven’t yet interviewed the victim because of his medical condition.
Loveland Jr. said he believes the intruder entered while his father was asleep, knocked him unconscious, dragged him into the living room and stomped on his head and chest. It doesn’t appear Loveland Sr. fought back because there are no bruises on his arms.
He voiced his first recollection of the attack today.
”He just told me that he thought it was a dream, but he remembers somebody stepping on his chest over and over. That part just came to him about an hour ago,” Loveland Jr. said.
The younger Loveland visits his dad every day and said his father always locked his door at night. The intruder jimmied the lock, he said.
Nothing was stolen, not even the $74 in his wallet.
Loveland Jr. thinks the attacker wanted revenge on another family member who used to live with his dad, and through hearsay, he has a hunch who it may be. Two days before the attack, his dad told him two people went to the trailer looking for the family member and acting hostile.
Authorities have questioned people, but made no arrests, Loveland Jr. said.
The incident was not an attempt to kill Loveland Sr., Sheriff’s Capt. Dave Meachum said. Loveland Jr. and his family think otherwise, and they want justice.
”There’s no way that this is just an assault,” he said. “You’re talking stomped on his chest, stomped on his ribs, stomped on his face. That was 100 percent wanting to kill somebody.”
Doctors are waiting for the blood clot to diminish before they perform reconstructive facial surgery to repair his jaw, eye sockets and nose. Dentures will replace 14 teeth that were knocked out in the assault.
”There’s just nothing left. His entire face is just shattered,” the younger Loveland said.
Heather Huffman, Loveland Sr.’s granddaughter, said he’d do anything to help anyone, even though he doesn’t have much. He has a hard time saying no to people, Loveland Jr. said.
Loveland Jr. wants his father to get back the small freedoms he had, like living independently and walking three or five miles a day with a cane. He asked anyone with information to come forward.
”It’s just a story I don’t want to go away,” he said.