High School Security Guard Collapses, Dies While Breaking Up Fight

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Security guard dies after breaking up fight at school. (Published Thursday, Sep 26, 2013)

    Officials say an autopsy performed Friday on a Thornwood High School security guard who died while breaking up a fight between two students on Thursday was inconclusive.

    Investigators believed the results of the autopsy could provide a guide on whether to file charges in the case.

    South Holland Fire Department officials say two security guards were breaking up a fight in the hallway between two female students when 54-year-old Richard Cowser fell or was pushed against a locker.

    Paramedics were called after Cowser appeared to be in distress and had difficulty breathing.

    Cowser was transported to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead at 1:33 p.m.

    Police are viewing surveillance photos and interviewing witnesses, including the two students involved in the fight.

    Students, who called the victim Hulk Cowser due to his resemblance to the wrestler Hulk Hogan, were shaken up.

    "Everybody's hurt. People I never thought would cry, cried," student Janez Winston said.

    Cowser's wife of 21 years, Janet, described him as hard on the outside but soft on the inside, and said he loved his job.

    "He was a great man. He took care of me, he guided me, he was always there for me," she said. "He didn't let us stray and get lost. He was right there, he was the strong one, I was the one who followed right behind him."

    Cowser was a graduate of Thornwood High School.