French Quarter musician speaks out after attack on friend, band mate

NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - Musician Steamboat Willie carried on with his normal Bourbon Street gig Wednesday, but his thoughts were with friend and band mate, Doug Potter.

The NOPD says two men attacked and beat Potter in the 800 block of Conti just after midnight Tuesday as he headed home after playing.

Potter is now in a coma.

"I think it's a sorry day when people attack people," Steamboat Willie said. "(Doug) was carrying his bass. He's not a fighter. Doug Potter is a very easygoing, lovable, huggable guy."

Surveillance video captured images of the alleged attackers leaving the scene.

The incident was one in a string of French Quarter attacks over the past few days.

Wednesday, one man showed us several stab wounds he suffered during an armed robbery near Ursulines and Burgundy, early Monday morning.

"I didn't believe it was actually happening," the man said. "I thought I was dreaming."

Surveillance video also captured images of his attacker. Investigators say they will soon release the suspect's name and photo.

The victim said - with a gun pointed at him - he handed over his wallet, cell phone and pocket knife.

There was a struggle, and the suspect stabbed the victim with his own knife. The man then chased the attacker several blocks, before collapsing due to his injuries.

"When I saw the blood, it was like a bull seeing red. It like flipped a switch. I said, 'He can't be doing this to anyone else anymore,' and that's when I went after him," the victim said.

Meanwhile, New Orleans police are investigating several other armed robberies across the French Quarter.

For some folks who work in the area, it's an unsettling situation.

"You have to know what's going on in front of you and behind you. Because predators tend to stalk you before they attack you," said Leroy Smith, who works at a French Quarter restaurant.

Another worker, Theodore Robinson, said he constantly watches his own back.

"Try to walk in groups if you can. Try to leave at the same time with your coworkers," he said.

The attack on Doug Potter happened very close to Bourbon Street, in a typically busy area. Steamboat Willie says his friend is now fighting for his life.

"Doug needs your prayers and your love," he said.

Crimestoppers, at (504) 822-1111, is offering a $2,500 reward in each case.

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