WSU instructor who was beaten recovering from brain injury

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PULLMAN — The Washington State University instructor who was beaten three months ago outside a Pullman bar is undergoing speech and physical therapy as he fights to recover from a brain injury.

David Warner told The Spokesman-Review that he doesn't remember the eight weeks he spent in a hospital. He was in a coma for a week and temporarily had a 4- by 6-inch piece of his skull removed to manage pressure.

Warner, 41, has a Ph.D., and taught in WSU's Department of Critical Culture, Gender and Race Studies. Now, he struggles with his vocabulary as he recovers at home in Pullman.

The strides Warner has made are a testament to his toughness and hard work, said Dr. Rasha Germain, neurosurgeon at Inland Neurosurgery and Spine. It's too early to say how well Warner will heal.

"Where he ends up on the continuum toward a completely healthy brain, nobody can tell us," said his mother, Cherie Warner.

The Whitman County prosecutor's office is deciding on possible charges for the March 30 fight outside Adams Mall, near WSU's Greek Row.

Police have recommended assault or criminal assistance charges against five people. Two are WSU students and two are their friends. One is a friend of Warner's who is accused of instigating the fight.

Surveillance video shows Warner was standing between them, playing the peacekeeper, when the group fell to the ground. Warner was knocked unconscious in the struggle.