Exclusive: Victim of vicious Durham parking lot attack speaks

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The victim of a vicious parking lot attack in Durham spoke exclusively to ABC11 about the ordeal (WTVD)

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.

"It was scary," he said. "I'm angry about this. This was a really bad experience."

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.

A coworker found him lying on the ground and called authorities.

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

The teen suspect has not been identified.

The City of Durham owns the deck where the attack happened, and police say officers do regular patrols.

City leaders said that the last incident like this happened in 2008.

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.

Police are still investigating the incident, but wouldn't say if they are searching for other suspects.

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