Writer Colum McCann Assaulted After Reportedly Trying to Help Woman

The novelist Colum McCann was reportedly beaten on Saturday night outside a New Haven hotel, according to the Associated Press. His injuries were serious enough that he was hospitalized, and is now undergoing dental work.

The New Haven Independent seems to have been the first to report the incident. They say the hotel was The Study at Yale, and that the author was just in town to appear on a panel at Southern Connecticut State University on Sunday. The police told the Independent that they arrived to the hotel at around 10 pm and found McCann bleeding on the sidewalk:

"We have an active investigation being conducted," said Assistant Police Chief Archie Generoso. "Right now we do not believe it was a random street attack."

"What we believe happened is that the victim tried to intercede in what appeared to be a domestic dispute between a man and a woman. He saw a woman pushed to the ground. He tried to assist the woman. He asked the woman if she wanted him to call the police. He urged her to do so. She said she didn't want to call the police. The guy said, 'It's your decision.' He turned around, began to walk away, and he was assaulted."

"We're not sure yet" who assaulted him, Generoso said.

"He was completely innocent. He was trying to be a Good Samaritan."

Both McCann's agent, Sarah Chalfant at the Wylie Agency, and wife Allison Hawke have declined comment to various news outlets.

McCann's 2009 novel, Let the Great World Spin, won both the National Book Award and the lucrative International IMPAC Dublin Literary prize. And, per a recent By the Book column in the New York Times Book Review, he's adapting it for film with J.J. Abrams.

[Photo via Getty Images.]