Elderly veteran tourist attacked at New Orleans bus station

Published: Aug. 16, 2023 at 4:49 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - A 73-year-old military veteran was just passing through New Orleans when he was brutally attacked in the bathroom of a bus station in New Orleans.

The New Orleans Police Department says the attack happened at Union Passenger Terminal on Loyola Avenue on Sat., Aug. 12 around 10:24 a.m.

The victim, Dale Ball, was on his way back home to Washington after visiting Alabama, where he had been assisting his daughter in making funeral arrangements for her deceased husband. His family says he made a pit stop in New Orleans to celebrate his second honeymoon.

According to the police report, Ball was found lying on his back in the bathroom with a pool of blood underneath his head. First responders say he was only coherent enough to provide his first name due to the severity of his injuries.

“I was angry. Very angry. How can anybody attack an elderly gentleman?” his daughter, Trina Balderson, asked. “I just lost my husband and had this happen to my dad. I’m just angry.”

Ball, a Marine veteran, suffered a fractured eye socket and a fractured jaw bone.

“He’s still in severe concussion protocol,” Ball’s son, Dale Jr., said. “In an out of consciousness in the hospital.”

“He’s got swelling on the brain,” said Balderson.

Dale Ball, Sr. and his son, Dale Ball, Jr.
Dale Ball, Sr. and his son, Dale Ball, Jr.(GoFundMe)

Ball was losing a significant amount of blood before a Good Samaritan alerted a security guard, who captured the suspect, John Pittman, as he attempted to flee the scene. Pittman resisted arrest and was subdued with pepper spray.

Doctors are still treating Ball for his injuries while his family prays for his swift recovery. His loved ones are planning to travel to New Orleans to support him during his hospitalization.

“He freaks out when he wakes up. He doesn’t know what’s going on. They’re keeping him heavily sedated so he has time to heal,” said Balderson.

Family members say they have no idea how long he will remain hospitalized or what his prognosis might be.

“I’m worried for him, and what the long-term effects could be,” said Balderson.

Pittman has been charged with second-degree battery and simple battery of the affirm and firm. He was being held on a $10,000 bond.

The family has set up a GoFundMe to help out with medical expenses.

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