The police investigation into Justice of the Peace Eric Goodman’s mysterious incident in the bathroom of a Summerlin park isn’t closed, but it’s not going anywhere.
“We have no new information. It’s still open pending someone coming forward with (tips), but the opportunity window is closing on that,” Las Vegas police Lt. Clint Nichols said Thursday.
“We have no leads and no tips. It all occurred in a bathroom with no cameras, no witnesses.”
Goodman, 42, the son of Mayor Carolyn Goodman and former mayor Oscar Goodman, was found unconscious with severe head injuries about 2:30 p.m. on Dec. 15 in the men’s restroom at South Tower Park, near Charleston Boulevard and west of the Las Vegas Beltway. He had left his home about 11 a.m. to exercise.
Nichols said Goodman, who wasn’t robbed, had no memory of the incident when interviewed by detectives a few weeks later. A forensic search of the bathroom turned up nothing.
“He remembers getting ready to go for a run, and then waking up in the hospital,” he said.
There was initial speculation that Goodman was attacked after KLAS-TV, Channel 8, ran a report stating that Ross Goodman, Eric’s brother, had been found beaten in a Summerlin bathroom. Reviewjournal.com briefly repeated the station’s error, attributing the information to KLAS.
Police denied the report in a news conference days later and said they couldn’t rule out a medical episode or a fall. That’s still the most likely scenario, Nichols said Thursday.
“We’re leaning that way,” he said. “Until something else breaks that would lead us in another direction. Quite frankly, we simply do not know.”
Following her State of the City speech Thursday evening, Carolyn Goodman described the chaotic moments as medics hauled her son into the hospital. She said a team of as many as 12 medics surrounded the gurney. Within 30 minutes of his arrival, doctors had removed a portion of his skull to relieve pressure on his brain.
“It puts you right in perspective of what is important in your life and how vulnerable each one of us is,” she said.
Goodman said at the time of the incident she and her husband couldn’t help but think of reports that had been swirling in national media about gang initiation rituals that involve attacks on random people, although police didn’t uncover any evidence that was the case with her son.
In the ensuing weeks, however, Eric Goodman hasn’t regained memory of the incident and the mayor said the family may never know what happened.
“We had no idea and we still have no idea,” she said. “I personally would kill that person if there were somebody involved, you just would have to pull me off.”
She said her son is recuperating in her home and is on the road to recovery.
“What I care about is he is going to recover fully and hopefully have a very productive and meaningful life and I don’t have to bury a child,” she said.
Eric Goodman, who is up for re-election this year, was first elected to a six-year judgeship in 2008. He filed for re-election Tuesday.
Anyone with information about the incident was urged to call the police violent crimes section at 702-828-5634 or, to remain anonymous, contact Crime Stoppers at 702-385-5555 or www.crimestoppersofnv.com.
Contact reporter Benjamin Spillman at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-383-0285. Follow him on Twitter @BenSpillman702.