Christopher Smith was arrested early Monday morning for the Oct. 15 beating of Doug David in the Marigny.
Police took 40 minutes to arrive to the scene then 10 days to write a report after David was paralyzed in the attack.
In court Monday morning, Smith’s attorney said that his client was defending himself against a drunk tourist, WWL-TV reported. Bond was set at $35,000.
More details to come.
David, a jazz enthusiast who lives in La Jolla, an affluent section of San Diego, was walking from a bar late that night when he was nearly struck by a vehicle that “blew through a stop sign” at Frenchmen and Decatur streets, Alicia Foulds, David’s niece, said.
“My uncle had a few choice words, I’m sure, and threw a can at the vehicle,” said Foulds, a Rancho Cucamonga, California, resident who came to New Orleans after the Oct. 15 attack to watch over her uncle at University Medical Center.
“Apparently, the gentleman pulled over, (and) got out of the vehicle. What exactly transpired, I don’t know,” she said. “My uncle doesn’t remember.”
Someone apparently called authorities at 11:11 p.m., and Emergency Medical Services responded to the scene in less than seven minutes. An EMS report published by the Times of San Diego describes the reason for the call as “fall victim” at 421 Frenchmen St., near the Louisiana Music Factory. The report refers to a witness who said David was assaulted and then fell to the ground.
Foulds’ uncle received spinal-cord injuries that left him paralyzed.
“He does have movement in his shoulders and feeling in his biceps, but past that point, he’s paralyzed,” she said. “He has quadriparesis.”