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Will Gavin DeGraw ever be able to identify his mystery attackers?

August 09, 2011|By Amina Khan, Los Angeles Times / for the Booster Shots blog
  • Gavin Degraw arrives for the 2008 MusiCares Person of the Year dinner and concert in Los Angeles in this February 8, 2008 file photo. DeGraw, whose hits include "I Don't Want to Be," suffered a broken nose and was hospitalized after he was attacked by a group on a New York City street. New York police spokesman Lieutenant John Grimpel said the attack happened in the early morning hours on August 8, 2011.
Gavin Degraw arrives for the 2008 MusiCares Person of the Year dinner and… (Danny Moloshok / Reuters )

Singer-songwriter Gavin DeGraw has canceled some upcoming concert appearances after being beaten by three men early Monday morning and then getting hit by a cab about a mile away from the site of the assault. Now that DeGraw has been released from the New York hospital where he was recovering, it's not clear that he'll be able to identify the men who attacked him.

Here's what we know, via Ministry of Gossip: After taking leave of a few drinking buddies, "some kind of argument" broke out between DeGraw and three strangers around 4 a.m. in New York City's East Village, at which point they attacked him. DeGraw reportedly suffered a concussion, broken nose, black eyes, cuts and bruises, and after the attackers fled he continued walking until he was hit (but not seriously hurt) by the taxi cab.

Police are hoping that security camera footage and other evidence may help determine who it was, because DeGraw, who may have been intoxicated at the time, reportedly has fuzzy recollections in regard to who the attackers were, what the argument may have been and why they left. And it's unlikely that, with the combination of alcohol and concussion, those memories will return.

In terms of concussions, amnesia frequently surrounds the "traumatic event," according to the Mayo Clinic, as does confusion or "feeling as if in a fog."

And, according to a paper from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, alcohol interferes with the brain's ability to form new long-term memories and to keep new information active in your memory for brief periods.  The more a person drinks, the more impaired their memory is. This means any memories from the event may be gone for good.  

DeGraw has been opening for part of Train and Maroon 5's U.S. tour. He has canceled some upcoming performances, according to Reuters. That may be wise: According to the Mayo Clinic, the adverse symptoms from a concussion, like concentration problems and sensitivity to light, can pop up hours, even days after the original trauma.

Follow me on Twitter @LAT_aminakhan.

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