Assaulted Native Professor Awake After More Than a Week in ICU
Dr. David Warner, a Native professor at Washington State University, has been in critical condition at Sacred Heart Medical Center in Spokane, Washington since an assault on March 30 left him unconscious and with a serious head injury.
“At Sacred Heart, David underwent surgery to remove part of his skull in order to relieve pressure and to treat bleeding on his brain,” says a fundraising site at YouCaring.com that was set up to help his family pay for medical costs. “Currently, he is in the Intensive Care Unit at Sacred Heart where his condition is being closely monitored by his doctors.”
But Warner woke up today.
“My brother, Dr. David Warner, is awake and sitting up. They are conducting medical assessments,” said Lisa Warner Askham on the Rally for David Warner Facebook page. “He is very tired, but fully conscious! Miracles happen! Thank you for all of your thoughts, prayers and healing energy!”
Reports since the incident have said that the 41-year-old professor was trying to break up a fight on campus March 30 when he was punched in the face and thrown to the ground. He hit his head and was left there. When he was found by police in the Adams Mall parking lot he was unconscious and had a serious head injury.
His family had been hopeful the entire time David has been fighting for his life.
“We’re very hopeful. I just know he’s going to recover,” Cherie Warner, David’s mother, told KHQ Local News days after the incident.
Cherie also said hearing the news of her son being brutally assaulted from police was “numbing” and that his recovery was “going to be a long road.”
“The lord has something in mind for David to accomplish,” Dennis Warner, David’s father, told KHQ.
David is certainly missed by his colleagues at Washington State University.
“He is someone that’s always had our back, had the department’s back, had the student’s back,” David Leonard, a colleague of Warner’s in the Department of Culture, Gender and Race Studies, told KHQ. “I’m trying to fill that emptiness with the energy that is within this community so we can lift Dave up.”
The Pullman Police Department has been investigating the case since the night of the incident and arrested two suspects on April 10 thanks to video surveillance footage from the parking lot. Madeline A. Fouts, 21, was charged with rendering criminal assistance and providing false statements to a public servant. Police don’t think Fouts had anything to do with the physical assault and she has since been released. Joshua W. Nantz, 23, was charged with first degree assault and was transported to the Whitman County Jail.
Police are still searching for three more suspects who can be seen in the parking lot in the video.
“Without those videos this case may likely have not been solved at all,” said Chief Gary Jenkins, of the Pullman Police Department, in a KHQ video report. “All we would have had were some partial suspect descriptions from various witnesses… and that’s very difficult to obtain an identification with just a suspect description.”
Support for David Warner has been pouring in from various places. The fundraising site at YouCaring.com to help his family pay for the medical expenses has already raised more than $17,600 and the Facebook page Rally for David Warner has been a way for friends and family to stay connected and informed about David’s condition and what’s going on with the case.
Even Washington State University President Elson S. Floyd has gotten behind the Warner family—he donated $10,000 of his own money to a reward fund set up to help catch the attackers.
“He’s an inspiration that encourages thought, that encourages community,” Leonard told KHQ about Warner.
Pullman Police have posted the surveillance video on YouTube to help locate the three suspects they are still looking for:
Anyone with information regarding the attack on Warner can call the Pullman Police Department at 509-334-0802.
This song was performed at the Native American Culture house in Pullman as a way of honoring Dr. David Warner: