Atlanta man remains in a coma after being found on train tracks suffering a serious head injury

ATLANTA — A 28-year-old man who was found with a life-threatening head injury on train tracks off Piedmont Road remains in a coma after doctors performed emergency surgery.

Joshua Dowd, a licensed massage therapist who works at Atlanta Spine and Wellness, was found unconscious, barely breathing and bleeding from the head the morning of July 11, according to a police report.

“Everyone is shocked,” said Colin Kelly, who told Channel 2 that he and Dowd have been together since 2018. “He didn’t have enemies.”

“I really, really want people to know how genuinely amazing he was,” he added. “He is the light in so many people’s lives.”

Although police haven’t released any information about a suspect or motive,

Kelly says his Dowd was the victim of a brutal assault.

“Doctor said it was a blunt force object,” he said. “Very, very hard impact. It was enough to crack his skull and it required a portion of his skull to be cut out to allow the brain to swell.”

Kelly says his partner went out with friends, partying in Midtown before heading over to the Lindbergh area of Buckhead, where surveillance video shows Dowd entering and leaving The Heretic.

What happened after he left the bar remains a mystery.

“A 25-year-old man found him on the train tracks,” he added. “We are checking with other bars in the area to see if they have surveillance.”

Police are still working to determine a motive.


“It’s not a robbery,” said Kelly. “He still had his phone and debit card on him.”

Friends and family believe Dowd’s race and sexual orientation may have played a role because he identified himself as a gay Asian American.

“There were times based on where he was going to go, he would change his appearance so he wouldn’t be at risk of getting attacked,” he said.

Friends and family have started a GoFundMe page to help assist with medical bills. If you would like to help out, you can make a donation here.