NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - New Orleans Police name a suspect in a beating that left a tourist paralyzed. The NOPD is trying to find Christopher S. Smith. He's wanted for 2nd degree battery.
Detectives believe he beat Doug David, a tourist from La Jolla, California, so bad on the night of October 15th, David is now in a New Orleans hospital, paralyzed. A friend of David says he will likely be bed-ridden for the rest of his life.
"He's been coming there for at least 20 years, 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 happens to him and he's just kind of left to suffer," said David's friend, Steve Simpson.
According to police, David told detectives after he was nearly hit by a car near Frenchman and Decatur, he threw a can at the car. That's when he said a man got out and hit him on the face and head. But, David only remembers waking up unable to move his arms or legs.
"It's two tragedies, you know, it's one that this has happened to Doug and you don't want this to happen to anybody and it's so unnecessary and that it's just been ignored, the ball dropped," said Simpson.
The NOPD says they initially responded on the night of October 15th, after they got a call from a witness who reported seeing a man being attacked. But, it took police 40 minutes to respond, and they tell us when the officer arrived the victim was gone and there weren't any witnesses on scene. So, the incident was labeled "unfounded," because the NOPD says they were unaware that the victim had been taken to the hospital.
"Apparently, as far as we know, nothing was done about this until we got on it," said Simpson.
Police say they went to the hospital to interview David, after getting a call from his family Monday, October 26th. But, those close to David say they have been trying to get the NOPD to investigate for more than a week now. And, even made repeated calls to the department. We asked the NOPD about that but a spokesman said "there are no documented conversations between police and the victim's family or the victim until Monday morning."
"I doubt that police purposefully said oh forget that, don't bother with it, but however the system works, it's not working," said Simpson.
If you have any information about this case call Crimestoppers at 504-822-1111.