It’s been one year since OBcean Chris Bowd was knocked unconscious on July 4th, 2009, and left in a pool of his own blood. He was found leaning up against a telephone pole near the corner of Newport Ave and Bacon Street before midnight. An ambulance took him to the hospital where he remained in a coma for weeks. Upon his revival, he had no memory of what happened to him or who his assailant was.
Initial speculation tied Chris’ assault to the much-maligned July 4th marshmallow fight last year, but there is no proof of that. For weeks, the community waited impatiently for some news of an arrest or someone stepping forward with info on the assailant. The police were left empty-handed as OB was incredulous about this anonymous assault on one of our own, despite a $1,000 reward that was offered.
Many made comparisons between Chris’ case and the assault on a young Australian who was left unconscious in a smoldering fire in OB on the beach awhile ago. Two drifters were soon arrested, convicted and sent off to prison. The speed in the closure of that case – a case of a tourist – was contrasted greatly with what happened to Bowd, a PhD medical researcher at UCSD.
Another aspect of Chris’ case stood in marked contrast to the Australian’s. The near total black-out by local mainsteam media. Despite the abundant coverage of Bowd by the OB Rag, no print media and only one television station picked it up for over a week after the assault. Mainstream coverage could have been crucial in the early days of the case to find the assailant or assailants. But no ….
The typical reason given by media for their lack of coverage was that no family wanted to talk to the press. Chris had one family member close by – his mother – who was ordered not to talk to the media by Chris’ boss. Yet, the media failed to act – and their use of this weak rationale to prohibit coverage did a huge disservice to Chris and the police.
Chris Bowd is still in OB and he’s still pissed off that no one has been caught. You can see him almost every Friday night at OB Comedy at Winston’s. He is still looking, but everyone else has given up….