Musician in coma after brutal attack in French Quarter

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wwltv.com

Posted on January 21, 2014 at 11:24 PM

Updated Wednesday, Jan 22 at 9:49 AM

Tania Dall / Eyewitness News
Email: tdall@wwltv.com | Twitter: @taniadall

NEW ORLEANS -- A well-known New Orleans musician is hospitalized and unconscious after being jumped in the French Quarter.

Doug Potter's family and friends believe he may have been a target of the "knockout" game.

"Always here when we needed him. Really nice man," said Chef Rick Tyler of Cafe Beignet.

Steamboat Willie and his New Orleans Jazz Band entertained music lovers Tuesday night inside the Bourbon Street courtyard venue. The cafe is also where fellow musician Potter plays three times a week.

On Monday night it was suppose to be business as usual.

"It's a terrible tragedy. I was the one that let him out the gate last night. I left 10 minutes after he did, so it could have been any of us," Tyler said.

Instead family members confirm surveillance video in the area caught a disturbing attack. Potter's family says the musician was walking off to his car off Bourbon Street down Conti when he was physically assaulted.

 

"According to witnesses as well as video tape, two individuals just took it upon themselves to assault, and badly hurt him. He fell into the street," said David Potter, the victim's brother.

Since the brutal attack the 54-year-old bass player has undergone intensive brain surgery at University Hospital, where family and friends continue to pray for his recovery.

Friends confirm he's now in an induced coma.

"Get these people off the street. I've had it. You live here all your life and you have to deal with something like that," said David Potter.

As Potter remains in intensive care, loved ones are grappling to understand why the musician with such a "big heart" was the target of such a violent and senseless attack.

"In 2004, we started playing here. All this time we've had nothing bad happen. This is the first time something bad has happened," said Steamboat Willie.

Potter's family says he wasn't robbed during the assault. NOPD detectives are looking at surveillance video to help track down his attackers.

Late Tuesday evening, they released a sketch of a suspect, which you can see above. He's wanted for second-degree battery.

He is described as a black man and about 5’7” with a stocky build. He has a tattoo between his eyes that appeared to be a “W” with a cross above it.

If you can help solve this case call Crimestoppers at 504-822-1111.

 

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