Downtown Denver New Year's Eve attack victim expresses concern about public safety

DENVER - Another man brutally attacked at random on New Year's Eve in lower downtown Denver comes forward with concerns about public safety. He is worried more innocent people could be attacked if there is no warning that these assaults are occurring.

Denver police say there are no arrests so far and it appears the attacks have no motivation other than hurting someone.

"You know I'm still very sore," said Matt Draper, who still has a massive scab on the back of his head.  "I'm very light sensitive right now."

Draper says there was no warning, and no words exchanged, before four men brutally attacked him at random. He hit the sidewalk at the intersection of 17th and Blake streets and was unconscious for about 20 minutes.

"I had a bag of chips in my hand, they grabbed the chips and then it's basically lights out from there," he said. "I woke up in an ambulance on a stretcher."

Police say the attack on Draper was one of three that occurred between 1:30 a.m. and 2:15 a.m. on New Year's Eve. The other two assaults happened near the intersections of 20th and Larimer streets; and 20th and Market streets.

Additionally, Denver Police reported two downtown-area attacks on Jan. 7. The first was at 8:35 a.m., when a man was robbed of his wallet in the 1400 block of California St. by a black male. The other was at 9:52 p.m. in the alleyway of Stout and California streets, where a victim was knocked down and robbed by two black males.

Nick Lloyd was another one of those attacked after New Year's Eve celebrations. He first shared his story with 7NEWS a few days ago, showing us his injuries.

Just two days after the attack, however, Draper says a detective informed him the case was being closed due to a lack of evidence.

"They said there wasn't really anything tied to it," he said.

Denver Police tell 7NEWS they've since reopened the case, but they're in a "quandary" with regard to the three attacks. There were few witnesses and apparently no surveillance videos.

While they wait for answers, Lloyd is scheduled to undergo surgery on Friday to put plates in his face and wire his jaw shut. Draper still has several stitches on the back of his head and visited a dentist Wednesday to have his cracked teeth fixed.

"I don't have a broken neck, I don't have any kind of spinal injury. And, you know, right now I'm doing a lot better than I was a couple days ago, so I feel pretty blessed that I'm here," Draper said.

7NEWS reporter Russell Haythorn asked, "Do you think downtown is safe?"

Draper answered, "I think the rule of thumb has always been, you need to get out of downtown after 1 a.m."

In three attacks, the victims were white and they describe their attackers as a group of black men.

Haythorn asked Denver Police if the attacks are racially motivated?

Police say, without better descriptions and more information, it's impossible to tell.

Police ask anyone who witnessed the attacks or who has other information about the crimes to call Crime Stoppers at 720-913-STOP (7867). Callers can remain anonymous and could be eligible for a reward of up to $2,000.

Print this article Back to Top