A shattered guitar was found near an unconscious, battered man on Madison's near west side Tuesday afternoon, police said.
The Madison Police Department said a seriously injured 33-year-old man was found near Seminole Highway on a UW-Madison Arboretum hiking path at 1:58 p.m. There was a dog near him, and pieces of a shattered acoustic guitar were scattered on both sides of the trail.
According to the report, a witness told responding officers that he had just seen a second man covered in blood, staggering down a nearby roadway. He also had a dog with him, and was seen passed out behind a liquor store. A damaged guitar, with blood and hair on it, was next to where he lay. An officer worked to awaken the intoxicated man, checking if he was OK. The man eventually awakened and announced he was fine and just taking a nap.
He told officers he was covered in blood because he had just "won" a fight with someone he considers a friend and that he had hit this person with a guitar.
The injured man was taken to a hospital, where he was transferred to the intensive care unit and listed in critical condition with head injuries. Police said his blood alcohol content was 0.47.
The other man, identified as 24-year-old Skyler S. Goldsmith, told police he's from Seattle but lives a nomadic lifestyle, hopping freight trains from city to city. He told police the victim is someone he met along the journey. They have been in Madison a few weeks, primarily staying in the State Street area, he said.
Goldsmith and the injured man's dogs were placed in safekeeping with the Dane County Humane Society, police said.
Goldsmith faces a charge of substantial battery.