NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - A tourist is now paralyzed after his friends say he was badly beaten in an attack in the Marigny.
Doug David is from La Jolla, Calif., but has a deep love for New Orleans and jazz music. He visits often. But, instead of enjoying his most recent trip here, his best friend, Steve Simpson, says David is now in the hospital - paralyzed - and will likely be bed-ridden for the rest of his life.
"He's done with everything you and I take for granted day after day," Simpson said. "Every moment, I'm holding a cell phone in my hand - he can't even do that."
Simpson will fly to New Orleans Tuesday from California to be by David's side.
"I've known the guy since high school," he said. "He's a great guy, now he's paralyzed for life. It's the least I can do."
New Orleans police are now investigating exactly what happened to David on the night of Oct. 15 at the intersection of Decatur and Frenchman. According to police, David told detectives he was almost hit by a small black car. In response, he then threw his can of beer at the car. That's when an unidentified man got out and hit him in the face and head. After being punched, David only remembers waking up, unable to feel his arms or legs.
"He's been coming [to New Orleans] for at least 20 years," Simpson said. "He's like a great ambassador. He's always telling people, 'you should go, you should go, you should go.' And then what's disturbing is, you know, this happened to him, and he's just kind of left to suffer."
Now, David's friends have created an online fund to raise money for his care and help get him back to California. They also want whoever did this to him caught and taken off the streets before they hurt someone else.
"They'll do it again, if he hasn't done it previously," Simpson said.
The NOPD said they initially responded on the night of Oct. 15 after they got a call from a witness who reported seeing a man being attacked. That witness said the perpetrator took off in a small,black car with the Louisiana license plate, XQT199. But police said when the officer arrived 40 minutes later, both the witness and the victim were gone. The incident was marked up unfounded until police say David's family contacted them today (Oct. 26).
If you have any information about this case, call Crimestoppers at (504) 822-1111.