Victim of Vicious Durham Parking Lot Attack Speaks

Elaina Athans, ABC 11, February 25, 2016

Ralph Gildehaus has a gash on his head, his lip is cut, and there’s a bandage wrapped around his ear. The 55-year-old Durham man is nursing his injuries after being viciously attacked and robbed inside the Corcoran Street Parking Deck in downtown Durham.

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The attack happened Wednesday around 9:30 a.m. Gildehaus parked his car on the fourth level.

He was struck seconds after walking into a stairwell.

The last thing Gildehaus remembers is seeing two men in the stairwell.

“The next thing that I remember was a coworker was with me holding a wound on my head, and the police and emergency responders who were there. And there was a pool of blood around me,” he said.

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A 15-year-old suspect is now facing charges. Police say the minor stole a wallet.

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While Gildehaus is angry, he also calls the attack ironic. He works for a non-profit organization, located right next to the garage, that advocates for social justice.

“I’m not the only one who’s a victim,” said Gildehaus. “I hope this is something that we can all come together about and improve security downtown, but also talk about larger issues of crime and violence and poverty in Durham. Because those are the kinds of issues I work on at MDC.”

He is hoping to be able to go back to his advocacy work next week.

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[Editor’s Note: A video version of this story is available at the original article.]

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