- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 17, 2012

A well-known D.C. political strategist is recovering from an assault that occurred outside a Northeast 7-Eleven after someone stole his cellphone.

David Mercer, 51, suffered a severe cut to the back of his head during a dispute Thursday night with up to three men, according to a report by the Metropolitan Police Department. One of the men took his cellphone from the store counter after he set it down to buy something and the assault occurred outside the store during an argument between Mr. Mercer and the men.

Mr. Mercer is a former deputy national finance director for the Democratic National Committee and a political strategist who has worked on a number of political and presidential campaigns, according to online biographies.

One witness of the aftermath of the assault, which happened around 10 p.m. Thursday at 8th Street and Maryland Avenue, said Mr. Mercer was unable to talk coherently or even stand up as a result of his injuries.

“There was quite a bit of blood on the ground,” said neighborhood resident Dave Stroup, who came across the scene while walking to the 7-Eleven that night. “He was trying to talk but it wasn’t making sense.”

Mr. Stroup didn’t know who Mr. Mercer was at the time but said he later spoke with a friend of the Mercer family who said Mr. Mercer suffered a brain injury as a result of the attack.

Attackers used their hands and feet rather than a weapon, according to a police report.

MPD Cmdr. George Kucik said the assault is still being investigated and as of Tuesday no arrests had been made. Investigators have obtained surveillance footage from the 7-Eleven store and “we believe we’ve identified everybody involved,” Cmdr. Kucik said.

On Tuesday afternoon, nearby residents passing the 7-Eleven store were surprised to hear of the violent attack.

“I was surprised when the store got robbed,” said Tyrone Williams of a prior incident he said took place about a month ago. “That’s the first time I heard about a fight, though.”

Mr. Stroup said loiterers typically gather outside the store in the evenings but he’s never felt afraid to go there.

“It’s one of the few places open if you need to grab something late,” he said. “I felt comfortable going there at 10 o’clock at night, but I might re-evaluate that.”