Man found beaten and unconscious in Buckhead beginning to breathe on his own

ATLANTA — Joshua Dowd, 28, remains in the hospital in a coma after suffering a severe brain injury on July 11.

“He’s fighting really hard,” said Josh’s partner of 3 1/2 years, Colin Kelly. “It’s about healing his brain.”

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Kelly has spent the last two weeks by his partner’s side, comforting him inside Grady Memorial Hospital, where he’s also staying in close contact with Atlanta police who are investigating the incident as an aggravated assault after doctors determined that someone hit Josh in the head with an unknown object.

“They are looking at all sorts of leads ‚” Kelly said. “They’re also looking at surveillance video from surrounding businesses.”

Atlanta police launched their investigation after a stranger found Josh badly beaten and unconscious on train tracks in the Lindbergh area of Buckhead. Police haven’t identified a suspect and are working to determine a motive. Josh was last seen on surveillance video partying with friends at The Heretic on Cheshire Bridge Road. What happened after he left the bar remains a mystery.

“We honestly don’t know at this point because we don’t know who they were and what their intentions were when they came across him,” Kelly said.

While police continue their investigation, some people in the LGBTQ community say they are shaken by what happened.

“Certain things that happen within our community are very specific ,” said Senior Officer Eric King, LGBTQ liaison for Atlanta Police. " The conversations usually take a different ear to listen to understand and help.”

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Friday, the department confirmed that this unit has heard from 170 people who have reached out to report crimes, voice questions and concerns and ask about resources available to the public.

“The main function of our unit is being a link between the police department and the LGBTQ community for the city of Atlanta,” said LGBTQ liaison Officer Brandon Hayes. Hayes moved to Atlanta from California to protect and serve this community.

It’s unclear how many crimes have been committed against members of the LGBTQ community in Atlanta, but both officers say aggravated assaults are the most reported incidents.

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Channel 2 Action News also checked with the FBI, which released its latest report at the end of 2020. According to the report, the country saw an increase in hate crimes from 2018 to 2019.

If you would like to contact the LGBTQ unit, you can reach them at 404-546-LGBT (5428)

If you would like to help out with Joshua Dowd’s recovery, then check out this GoFundMe page.