Student-wrestler in intensive care after 3-story plummet

Athlete jumped from garage Sunday following altercation

An IU wrestler was in the intensive care unit of Bloomington Hospital on Monday evening after he jumped from the third floor of the Walnut Center parking garage early Sunday morning, police said.

Freshman Eric Cameron, 18, fell onto power boxes and flipped, landing on the ground on his back after a three-story fall from the parking garage on the corner of Seventh and Walnut streets, Bloomington Police Department Detective Sgt. David Drake said, reading from a police report. As of Monday, Cameron was on a ventilator in the intensive-care unit at Bloomington Hospital, bleeding from his brain, Drake said.

Cameron, who lives in McNutt Quad, jumped from the parking garage after a friend he was with got into a fight with a 25-year-old man and four women at about 3 a.m. Sunday near Kilroy's Sports Bar, Drake said, reading from the report.

The 25-year-old man and the women were leaving Kilroy's Sports Bar when Cameron's friend began "hitting on" the women. Cameron and his friend, accompanied by a third friend, followed the women to the parking garage, Drake said.

The 25-year-old man told Cameron's friend to stop bothering the women, and one of the women told the man to go away, Drake said, reading from the report. The friend then punched the woman, a 22-year-old IU student, in the eye. She sustained a contusion on her right cheek, one loose tooth and two chipped teeth, Drake said.

According to the report, the 25-year-old man then punched Cameron's friend, knocking him to the ground.

When the 25-year-old man and the four women got in to their SUV, Cameron began punching the rear driver's side window of the vehicle, Drake said, reading from the report.

When Bloomington Police Department officers arrived, Cameron "took off running and jumped over the wall" of the parking garage, Drake said. According to the report, Cameron smelled of alcohol when officers found him. Officers did not perform a Breathalyzer test.

Drake said the two men Cameron was with disappeared sometime during the incident, and police have not yet found or identified them.

Sheila Ankney, Cameron's mother, said he has been improving since Sunday. He is still unconscious in the intensive-care unit, but he tried to open his eyes Monday, she said.

A police officer called Ankney early Sunday with news about her son, she said. She, her husband and Cameron's father arrived in Bloomington at about 7 a.m. Sunday morning, after driving from Cincinnati.

"When you have a child in the hospital, a 2 1/2 hour drive can seem like two weeks," she said.

Though doctors are awaiting the results of a third CT scan to determine how well Cameron will recover, Ankney said she is still thankful for some things.

"There are no broken bones; there's no paralysis," she said. "It's a miracle."

The past 36 hours have been like a bad dream, but Ankney has received tremendous support from the hospital, IU and Cameron's friends, she said. IU wrestling coach Duane Goldman visited Cameron in the hospital Sunday night, she said.

"The wrestling team -- they've been wonderful," she said. "There are some wonderful students out there."

Ankney said she believes Cameron was just trying to help his friend in the parking garage, and when police arrived, he ran

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