A MAN is fighting for his life in hospital after being found with unexplained head injuries in the early hours.
The 39-year-old is in a critical condition in James Cook University Hospital, in Middlesbrough, after being found wandering in the streets of Hartlepool’s Headland.
Police have launched a probe to ascertain how the man suffered “unexplained head injuries”.
He was reported missing by his worried wife after he did not return home from a late-night bike ride and the police helicopter was scrambled to help in the search.
The man, who has not been named, was found with his injuries in Union Street, near to the Headland Sports Hall, while his bike was discovered at the bottom of the steps near the Pilot Pier, off York Place around a quarter of a mile away.
Police had been unable to get an account of what happened from the man himself, due to his condition.
House-to-house inquiries were being conducted on the Headland yesterday, and police kept guard over the area near where the bike was found.
The man had left his house, also on the Headland, on a purple and white ladies mountain bike around 9.30pm on Sunday.
But after he failed to return home, his worried wife contacted police just after 1am on Monday, stating that the man normally likes an evening stroll, but had not come back.
His wife had found the bike at the bottom of the steps, near Mary Rowntree’s tearoom, before she rang the police.
Then following a search involving the helicopter, police officers found the man in Union Street around 4am and called for an ambulance.
He was rushed to the University Hospital of North Tees, in Stockton, and later transferred to Middlesbrough’s James Cook University Hospital, where his condition was described as critical.
A Cleveland Police spokeswoman said: “Inquiries are ongoing after a 39-year-old man was found with head injuries in the Headland area of Hartlepool in the early hours of Monday.
“The man has been taken by ambulance to James Cook University Hospital where he remains receiving treatment.
“At the moment we are trying to establish how he came by his injuries.”
Anyone with information is urged to contact Hartlepool Police on 101.