A CORK student described as "a quiet, nice young man" remains in hospital in San Diego after sustaining serious injuries while on a night out.
Evan White, from Farran, who was celebrating his 21st birthday, became separated from friends while out in the Pacific Beach area of San Diego, and was later found unconscious in a laneway in the early hours of Friday morning.
A police spokesperson said the UCC student was found in an alley and taken to a nearby hospital with a head injury.
“The report states that Evan White was located in the south alley of 600 Law Street. He was transported to Scripps La Jolla Hospital [by] paramedics with a head injury. He was unconscious when officers arrived to take his statement.
“It is unknown what caused the injuries since there wasn’t any witnesses and officers had not had the opportunity to speak with White.
“This is all the information we have at this time.” The community in Farran and surrounding areas has been left shocked by the news. Evan is believed to have travelled to the US with friends from his local area.
“He is from a nice family,” said Michael Sheehan of Killumney United FC, who knew Evan from his involvement in youth teams.
“He was always a nice, quiet young fella, never got into any trouble.” San Diego is a popular area with Irish students, with several thousand expected to flock to the area during the summer months.
When contacted, the Department of Foreign Affairs said: “The Department are aware of the case and we are providing consular assistance.”
Detectives hope to speak soon to an Irish J1 student who was beaten and left for dead in a San Diego alley.
Hopes were expressed last night that Evan White’s condition will improve enough for him to be interviewed by police in the next 48 hours.
His parents, who flew to the US at the weekend, are maintaining a vigil at Scripps Memorial Hospital where he has been in an induced coma since the attack.
The young UCC business student, who lives near Farran Woods in Cork, had travelled to the US recently with friends under the J1 student visa programme.
They were out celebrating his 21st in San Diego’s Pacific Beach quarter when it is understood he became separated from the group.
He was found by police early last Friday morning unconscious and in critical condition lying in an alley off Law St, just a few metres from one of the city’s most popular beaches.
He had severe head and facial injuries.
There were reports that his injuries were so severe, he was “unrecognisable”. One friend said he had been “beaten to a pulp”.
A spokesman for the San Diego Police Department told the Irish Examiner last night it is “not known yet” what caused the injuries because there were no witnesses, and Evan was unconscious.
However, they are treating it as suspected assault pending a formal interview with him.
One theory is that Evan may have become lost in the Pacific Beach area’s vast maze of parallel streets and lanes, and was attacked as he walked alone.
He was rushed by paramedics to Scripp’s trauma centre where his condition has been described as critical, but not life threatening.
Evan played soccer with local clubs and GAA with Éire Óg in Ovens. Pat Malone, the chairman of Éire Óg, where Evan played junior and U21 football, said the shock of what has happened is only beginning to hit the community.
“Evan was involved with us at under-age level and played junior football and was on the under-21 football panel,” he said.
“He was part and parcel of what we are. He was always there for us. He was a quiet young lad, and he comes from a quiet family.” Club officials were due to meet last night to discuss what supports the club might offer the White family.
“All of our thoughts and prayers are with Evan and his family at this difficult time,” Mr Malone said.
The Department of Foreign Affairs said it is aware of the case and is providing consular assistance.