Victim in Vancouver assault remains in coma

Daughter: prognosis is not good; police have no leads on suspects

By Emily Gillespie, Columbian Breaking News Reporter



More than a month after he was assaulted by two unidentified assailants at a Hough-neighborhood intersection, a 54-year-old Vancouver man remains in a coma.

Chris Brewster was moved from PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center to a specialty care facility last week, said his daughter, Lela Brewster.

Neighbors living near West 21st Street and Columbia Street called 911 at about 10:30 p.m. April 23 after witnessing two men attacking someone else who was on the ground, Vancouver Police Department spokeswoman Kim Kapp said.

Patrol officers responded but did not immediately locate the suspects, nor could they immediately identify the victim, Kapp said.

“At the time, there was no indication of the severity of the injuries,” Kapp said.

But after Brewster was identified as the victim and his injuries were found to be extensive, major crimes detectives got involved, Kapp said.

Police don’t have any leads on suspects, Kapp said, adding that the only description from witnesses was that the two people had average builds, wore dark clothing and were possibly in their 20s or 30s.

Brewster suffered brain damage and remains in a coma. His prognosis, his daughter said, isn’t good.

“The doctor’s not very optimistic. … They’re not being as positive as we’d like, but we’re still holding on,” she said. “We’re trying to stay positive. My dad’s the strongest person I have ever met.”

Because he hasn’t woken up, Lela Brewster has had to do her own detective work.

Her dad, who lived in Vancouver nearly his entire life, felt safe in downtown Vancouver and often went to Tip Top Tavern, 2100 Main St., where he played ping-pong, Lela Brewster said. That is what she thinks he was doing that night and she thinks her father only had one beer, judging by his alcohol level at the hospital, she said.

It’s obvious, she said, that he wasn’t prepared for what happened to him.

“This wasn’t a fight, it was an attack and it’s wrong,” she said. “This should never have happened. … He didn’t do anything to bring this on. He’s such an honest person, and no one would want to do this to him.”

Detectives continue to investigate and are asking for anyone who has any information on the incident to call Det. Neil Martin at 360-487-7423 or email him at