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Police, family seek cause of Toledo man's severe injuries

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Denise Evans talks about her brother-in-law Sherman Smith at her Toledo home. Police found Smith propped against a pole with severe head injuries. Smith

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A severely injured 56-year-old man was found propped up against a light pole in south central Toledo early Sunday morning about a block from his house, police said.

Sherman Smith of 742 Greene St. was listed in critical condition last night at St. Vincent Mercy Medical Center. He is on life support and has swelling of his brain, relatives said.

The victim was seen about 3:30 a.m. in the middle of City Park Avenue and Sterling Street being helped by two young men who apparently moved him from the street to the curb.

A passing motorist called 911, reported the location to police as City Park and Greene, and left the scene upon hearing the sirens approaching.

Police crews checked the area, but said they were unable to find a vic-tim.

Police received another call about 8:30 a.m. reporting a man down at City Park and Sterling Street.

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Smith

The Blade/Lori King
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There, police found Smith unconscious with apparent blunt-force trauma to his head, Toledo police Detective Denise Muszynski said.

"Nobody saw anything, nobody heard anything, and nobody knows anything, unfortunately," the detective said.

Detective Muszynski said Smith has severe head trauma but no other injuries on his body. She said he "would have had some other bodily injuries" if he had been struck by a vehicle.

It also didn't appear he had been robbed.

For Smith's relatives, not knowing what happened is difficult.

His older brother, Jimmie Rodgers, who lives next door to Smith, said it's one of those things the family has to deal with.

"It's frustrating," he said.

But Rodgers said Smith isn't a stranger to unfortunate situations.

While at a bar in Toledo about 30 years ago, Smith was struck in the jaw by a bullet meant for someone else. The bullet remains in his jaw, Rodgers said.

"He was in the wrong place at the wrong time," he said of the past incident.

Rodger's wife, Denise Evans, said Smith is a longtime resident of Greene Street.

"Everybody around here knows him," she said. "He walks around, rides his bike through the neighborhood, speaks to everybody [and] everybody speaks to him."

She said her brother-in-law enjoys drawing and loves his 1997 Oldsmobile. The car doesn't run, but Ms. Evans said Smith washes it every chance he gets.

Smith also is handy, likes to fix lawn mowers, and is simply "good-hearted," she said.

The family is praying Smith's condition improves.

Meanwhile, Ms. Evans said she hopes that anyone who knows what happened comes forward.

"That's all we want to know is what happened," she said. "Right now, he can't tell us himself. All we're doing is sitting here waiting."

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 419-255-1111 or the Investigative Services Bureau at 419-245-3142.

Contact Laren Weber at:

lweber@theblade.com

or 419-724-6050.

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