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Lyons man pleads guilty to trying to drown girlfriend in bathtub

(RIVERSIDE) A Lyons man has pleaded guilty to felony unlawful restraint for trying to drown his girlfriend in a bathtub last year in west suburban Riverside.

Michael D. Bruner / photo from Riverside police

Michael D. Bruner, 61, has pleaded guilty to felony unlawful restraint for the domestic incident that happened on Sept. 7, 2013, according to a statement from Riverside police. He has remained in custody at the Cook County Jail since his arrest last year.

Bruner got into an argument with his 53-year-old girlfriend in her coach house in the 100 bock of Lawton Road in Riverside about 8 p.m., police said at the time. A short time later they argued a second time about missing prescription drugs inside the home, at which point the woman left for a friend’s house in Berwyn.

She returned to the coach house about 1 a.m. and another argument broke out about Xanax pills that were missing from the home, police said.

The woman walked away from the argument and went upstairs to take a bath, but as she was undressing and filling the tub Bruner angrily opened the door and pushed her into the tub before beginning to choke her and push her head under the water, police said.

She was able to briefly break free twice, and after the third drowning attempt the woman managed to run from the coach house to the main house at the front of the property and call 911 about 2 a.m., police said.

The woman was standing in front of the house screaming when police arrived and told responding officers that her boyfriend had tried to drown her three separate times. Officers saw Bruner leaving the coach house through a side door and arrested him as he tried to flee north from the home, police said.

Police say Bruner has a “lengthy” criminal history which includes arrests in Illinois, California, Colorado and Utah dating back to 1974. He is a convicted felon in three states, including Illinois, and his convictions include burglary, theft, drugs, forgery and numerous DUIs.