David Mercer, Democratic strategist, beaten in Northeast

A well-known Democratic party strategist and regular Fox News contributor is in the hospital after being beaten outside a Capitol Hill 7-11.

Friends say David Mercer was beaten badly Thursday night outside the store, which is on the corner of Maryland Avenue and 8th Street Northeast.

"David Mercer has just a heart of gold," said Capitol Hill resident Bob McDevitt, who has known Mercer for over fifteen years. "Just a wonderful person, and we're all very concerned about him."

Surveillance video shows Mercer walking into the convenience store on July 12 around 10 p.m. While on the phone, he lays some things down on the counter.

A police report says a suspect seen in the surveillance video swiped a cell phone that belongs to Mercer.

Mercer confronts the man, even touching the man’s pants at one point as if to see if the cell phone is in his pocket.

“The [suspect] told him, ‘when you come outside, I’m going to knock you out,’” an unidentified witness told ABC7.

That witness and the police report says three men were all together that night. The witness says the men were waiting outside when Mercer walked out, and one of them attacked him.

“He knocked him out cold,” said the witness. “He hit his head on the concrete.”

Friends say Mercer has been in the hospital ever since, and is just starting to walk around some but still has a long recovery ahead.

Mercer lives in the Capitol Hill area not far from where the attack happened.

He has been involved with the Democratic National Committee for decades, holding a high position during the Clinton era in the 1990s.

Capitol Hill residents say the neighborhood has come a long way over the years, and crimes like this one are now incredibly rare.

“It’s usually quiet,” said resident Audra Blane while smoking a cigarette on a front stoop.

“Its dogs, kids, families,” said fellow Capitol Hill resident Brad Sargent. “It’s nice, it’s safe, that’s why we bought here.”

Police say they have identified the suspects in the case, but haven’t put out any information about any arrests.