Former sheriff, Ratcliff, hospitalized after falling in home

May 22, 2009 at 12:22 a.m.

Former Sheriff Michael Lewis Ratcliff suffered a traumatic injury that forced him to a Victoria hospital, the Advocate confirmed Friday.

A taxi driver found Ratcliff unconscious, lying face down in his home and possibly not breathing, according to Victoria County Sheriff's Office records dated a week ago.

Ratcliff has said he suffered health problems after being indicted in October 2007, when he was the district attorney's chief of staff. He was indicted for aggravated sexual assault of a teenage boy, but later agreed to a plea deal of aggravated perjury.

As part of the deal, Ratcliff lost his driver's license, a likely reason a taxi driver was at the home in which he now stays. The home is located in the 1500 block of Westpark Avenue.

The taxi driver waited outside the home on May 15 for 20 minutes before noticing Ratcliff's keys were in the door. The driver then went inside shortly after 8 a.m. and saw Ratcliff unconscious.

Injuries Ratcliff suffered are consistent with those of a fall, said Terry Simons, chief deputy of the Victoria County Sheriff's Office. Simons doesn't suspect foul play.

Responders rushed Ratcliff, who is in his early 50s, to DeTar Healthcare System.

"The hospital is not going to release any information about that patient," said Judith Barefield, a hospital spokeswoman.



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