Boy, 7, recovering after allegedly random attack by 32-year-old man left him with a fractured skull

A 7-year-old boy who was viciously attacked in California in an apparently random incident is slowly recovering, according to his mother.

On Thursday, Wendy Ludwick posted on a GoFundMe page that her son Gavin was finally able to sit up by himself, opening his right eye in a miraculous turn of events after he survived a brutal attack allegedly by Daniel Birch Poulsen, 32, who was arrested Sunday and booked at the Indio jail, with bail set at $1 million, according to the Desert Hot Springs Police Department.

According to the fundraiser page for Gavin, he was found bloodied in the street, reportedly in the throes of a seizure after Poulsen allegedly picked him up and threw to the ground on his head. The attack was caught on a neighbor’s security camera, according to the page. 

Gavin was on his way home from swimming at a neighbor’s house. 

According to Gavin’s GoFundMe, the attack left him with a fractured skull, pieces of which had to be removed from his brain.

City News Service reported that since 2007, Poulsen has been arrested and charged on 14 separate occasions in Riverside County on a wide array of allegations, including burglary, battery, resisting arrest, indecent exposure, committing lewd acts in public and annoying and/or molesting a child under 18 years old.

The GoFundMe, which was created earlier this week, had received $66,726 out of its goal of $20,000 as of Thursday.

“The response to his campaign has been amazing! It's blown all of us away and it just keeps growing, which we are so grateful for because Gavin's road to recovery is going to be a long one,” wrote Mandy Franklin, who created the fundraiser. 


7-year-old Gavin is photographed at a California hospital where he is recovering from an attack that left him with a fractured skull. ((GoFundMe))

“In addition to the donations, people have reached out with the kindest regards and warmest messages. All touched by this little guy and his story. It's really heartening. We need to keep Gavin's story in front of people,” Franklin said. 

Gavin’s mother wrote in an updated post on Thursday that he is “progressing so well” and will be moving to a “less intense ICU.”

Local law enforcement described the incident as a random, unprovoked attack in which Poulsen was charged with attempted murder. 

“The first and most important thing we have to focus on is his recovery but making sure the man who did this NEVER has the chance to do it again, is going to be step 2, very soon. He should have never had the opportunity to commit this heinous act but the system failed. We can't let it fail us again. They allowed Gavin to pay for their terrible oversight or lapse in judgement and that is completely unacceptable,” said Franklin.