Australian CEO recovering after being found injured, unconscious on SF street

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Thursday, July 11, 2024
SFPD: No sign Australian CEO was attacked, left for dead on street
Upon investigation and review of surveillance video, San Francisco police say Colin Bettles, the Australian CEO who was found injured and unconscious on the street, was not assaulted or a victim of a crime.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- EDITOR'S NOTE: After the story aired, San Francisco police announced investigators found no indication that Bettles was assaulted or the victim of a crime following their review of surveillance video. Authorities also say that Bettles was "in possession of his property" at the hospital.

The CEO of Grain Producers Australia was visiting San Francisco last week on a work trip, but is now recovering in a neurological ward at San Francisco General Hospital. Colin Bettles sustained major injuries according to friends. Those close to him say it's unclear what exactly happened but they fear he may have been attacked.

"He arrived at the hotel in San Francisco a little bit after 6 o'clock on the night of 4th of July, he went out for dinner caught an Uber, went for dinner at a well known pizza place at 8 o'clock, and at 10:30 was found on the side of the road in a semi-conscious state," said Michael McCormack, who is a close friend.

Bettles was staying at Hotel Garrett near the federal building at 7th and Mission in San Francisco. He was found somewhere along Market Street. McCormack is an Australian lawmaker and the former Deputy Prime Minister of Australia who Colin worked for in the past. The two are still good friends. McCormack says Bettles was found without a wallet or phone, a gash requiring stitches in the back of his head, and a broken eye socket in several places.

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"Terrible state of affairs to think that you go to America on a work trip, you're minding your own business walking back to your hotel, and you get set upon. Thankfully some good Samaritan has raised the alarm and he is now in the best of care but terribly worried for his family, friends, his wife's circle of friends, he's very very respected in Australia," said McCormack.

Bettles' company issued a statement and even they don't know what happened. They are urging authorities here to work at finding surveillance video that could help in the investigation.

The delay here is the fact that Bettles was in a medically induced coma for four days immediately after this, according to McCormack. There is a hope that police will get more info here because this story is making national headlines in Australia.

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