It appears not one Marine, but two were attacked on the night of Feb. 12. The same night a former Marine was assaulted and robbed outside a McDonald’s in the nation’s capital, it has now been revealed that another Marine was brutally attacked and left to freeze to death in a Northwest D.C. neighborhood.
Cpl. Michael Schroeder, 35, was walking home after having drinks with some friends that Friday night when he was struck from behind. His body was dragged between two cars where he was left face-down, head bashed-in and missing cash as temperatures dipped into the teens.
“I wasn’t trying to find trouble. I was actually just trying to walk home,” Cpl. Schroeder, an Operation Iraqi Freedom veteran, told a local CBS affiliate.
Cpl. Schroeder says he does not remember the attack, but his family told reporters he suffered a fractured skull and a severe concussion; there were head staples, convulsions, fevers; and he could hardly speak after the attack.
Nearby security camera footage shows Cpl. Schroeder walking near Wisconsin Avenue NW before 2 a.m. He is then seen cutting through a parking lot to 37th Street NW, but after he turns the next thing he remembers is ambulance lights.
The police report said a father and son driving by in a taxi saw Cpl. Schroeder lying between the two cars and called police. Two officers responded to the 911 call and found Cpl. Schroeder laying face-down between the cars. The report says he felt very cold, appeared highly intoxicated and was bleeding from the back of the head, CBS reported.
Cpl. Schroeder’s twin brother, who is also a Marine, said he believes Michael laid there for at least an hour and told CBS, according to doctors, his brother’s injuries are consistent with someone attacking him 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,” he told CBS.
“Michael could’ve died that night,” Cpl. Schroeder’s mother, Deidre, told CBS.
“This isn’t funny. This isn’t a joke,” she said. “This is a very serious matter, and this is in a lovely neighborhood of Washington, D.C.”
Police told CBS they have not identified a suspect and do not believe the incident is related to any other attacks in the city.
The brutal attack occurred the same night Christopher Marquez, a former Marine, was assaulted and robbed by a group of black teenagers in front of a McDonald’s restaurant in Chinatown. Mr. Marquez says he believes the attack was racially motivated.
“It’s hard for me to understand because there would’ve been zero reason for it,” Cpl. Schroeder told CBS when asked why someone would do this. He said he still has his cell phone and identification but anywhere from $40 to $60 is missing from his pocket.
Supporters have created a GoFundMe page to help pay for Cpl. Schroeder’s medical expenses. His family told CBS they will donate any extra money to the Recon and Sniper Foundation, a veteran nonprofit.
So far, the page has raised nearly $13,000.