An LSU football fan who, as always, remained in Tiger Stadium to hear the Golden Band from Tigerland play following the game was bloodied during a robbery inside an arena restroom and says his attacker may have been deterred if more people had been around.
"Normally, there's 80,000 to 100,000 people at an LSU game. You're never alone," Daniel "Danny" Dwyer said. "During these unfortunate times, with the lower number of people, there's more opportunity for a one-on-one encounter."
A longtime season ticket holder, Dwyer had attended LSU's game against South Carolina on his own Saturday night and had stayed until the marching band had played its last song, as he usually does. As he headed to his car, he made a stop at one of the nearby restrooms.
"There were three or four men and a young man who had a broom and a dustpan, and a bucket behind him," Dwyer said.
"Apparently, the three or four guys I saw were on the way out or had left, because the next thing I knew, there were two or three blows to the back of the head," he said.
Dwyer said he had not sensed that there was anybody standing behind him. Typically, he said, the restroom is more crowded at that point after a game. Crowd limits because of the coronavirus pandemic have cut Tiger Stadium crowd sizes by 75 percent.
"Everything was so quiet" before the attack, he said.
"It forced me to kind of back up and go down on my knees. He continued to rain blows down on my head and the side of my head," Dwyer said.
"I believe he wanted to incapacitate me, so he could reach down and get the wallet out of my pocket," he said.
Dwyer believes the attack went on for 25 to 30 seconds.
"I do remember seeing blood trickling down from under my cap and onto the floor," he said.
Dwyer said he remembers putting his hands up to try to stop the blows, but "at some point my hands didn't get fully up" and the attacker used that second to take Dwyer's wallet, which had a small amount of cash.
The attacker fled out of the exit door of the restroom.
"I was able to collect my wits and pick up my hat, my glasses and my mask" which had all fallen to the floor during the attack, Dwyer said.
After leaving the restroom, he made his way down a corridor and found two or three state troopers nearby.
Dwyer was treated for three head lacerations by Emergency Medical Services staff at LSU, then transported to Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center, where he was released early Sunday.
An LSU Police Department investigator was immediately on the case at the stadium, Dwyer said, and followed the ambulance to OLOL, where the investigator talked further with Dwyer.
Ernie Ballard, director of media relations at LSU, said Sunday night that the incident is under investigation.
Dwyer said he doesn't know who his attacker was, though he saw the man's arms; the attacker had a mask on, like everyone else there that night.
Dwyer said he's doing alright.
"It was a typical 2020 night," he said. "If you have to wrap up the year 2020, this would fall right in place."