A New Hampshire woman said she was left paralyzed from the waist down after she was allegedly attacked at a Pitbull concert on Sunday.
Maddy Audet, 22, attended the concert at the Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion in Gilford, N.H., with three friends. Her sister and her sister’s roommates were also there for the show.
The incident is under investigation by Gilford police. As of Thursday morning, no arrests had been made but the investigation is ongoing, according to Deputy Chief Kristian J. Kelley.
“We take these things seriously,” Kelley said. “Our investigators are out working as we speak. We do have some leads.”
Audet said Pitbull was on his third song when she overheard a woman accuse one of her sister’s roommates of stealing a drink.
Audet said she tried to deescalate the situation by offering to buy the woman a drink.
“I went in between them and said, ‘Hey it’s not a big deal. We’ll buy her another drink,’” Audet said in a phone interview from Concord Hospital. “Apparently this guy didn’t like what I said.”
Audet said the man went over three seats to get to her and then punched with an uppercut that knocked her out.
“He punched me right under the jaw,” she said. “I flew back about 5 feet ... it was like I was in one of those superhero movies.”
Audet said she was unconscious after getting punched, and was later told by witnesses that she was assaulted again after she went down.
“There was a girl on top of me, whaling me in the head four or five times,” she said.
Audet was taken to Concord Hospital and has had no feelings in her legs since then.
“Right now I can’t feel anything from the waist down,” she said.
On Thursday she was waiting to be transferred to Tufts Medical Center in Boston.
Audet grew up in Concord, N.H., and lives in Keene. She graduated from Keene State College in May 2021 and works as a veterinary technician. She was in the process of applying to veterinary school. “In two weeks my application is due,” she said.
She said her dream is to become an orthopedic veterinary surgeon.
But for now, she is focusing on her recovery, and “hopefully ... getting back on my feet again.”
Deputy Chief Kelley said police are interviewing witnesses and investigators are aware of “potential suspect or suspects who may be involved.”
Kelley said anyone who saw what happened or has information that could help the investigation should contact the Gilford Police Department at 603-527-4737.
Audet’s 26-year-old brother, Nick Ford, launched a GoFundMe page (gofundme.com/f/kt5m9b-help-maddy-recover) to help her with some of her expenses as she recovers.
“Maddy was at a concert with some friends dancing when a grown man walked up to her and hit her so hard she fell unconscious,” Ford wrote on the GoFundMe page. “All because this coward thought she took his drink. Maddy is now in the hospital without any feeling or movement below her waist. Our family would appreciate anything that could help as she has 4 dogs and her apartment to worry about.”
On Wednesday, Ford wrote that Audet would be leaving Concord Hospital and going to Boston for further evaluation and treatment. “Concord Hospital has done all they can and we are staying hopeful that Tufts can give us some answers. Thank you all for your support it is much appreciated.”
Ford said his sister is trying to stay positive.
“I’m sure it’s taking a toll on her, but she’s still joking, laughing, and still trying to see the good in the situation,” Ford said in a phone interview. “We’re all trying to stay hopeful.”