Police Identify Murder Victim as David Breaux, the Compassion Guy

David Breaux – courtesy photo

By David M. Greenwald
Executive Editor

Davis, CA – This morning the city of Davis released information of the stabbing victim at Central Park as David Breaux.  Breaux, age 50, , is a well-known community member and has been a regular fixture in the downtown area and at Central Park for at least the last decade.

He is affectionately known around town as the “Compassion Guy,” which is “a fitting tribute to his regular interactions with everyone who walked by, often waving and greeting folks or asking them to share their view on compassion.”

According to a statement from the city council, “He chose Davis as his home to be around people; he touched many lives in our community, dedicating his time and energy towards selflessness.”

“The death of David Breaux is utterly and completely devastating,” shared Mayor Will Arnold, “Many of us knew David. We conversed with him. We shared in his vision for a kinder world. We connected on what it means to be human and humane. David was gentle and kind, soft-spoken and thoughtful, brilliant and selfless.”

According to the Davis Police, on Thursday, at 11:20 am, police responded to a welfare check regarding an “unresponsive male.”

The preliminary investigation revealed this was a significantly violent attack and the victim suffered multiple stab wounds.

Several members of the Davis Police Department worked throughout the day processing the scene and will continue to relentlessly investigate this apparently senseless crime.

Currently, the police said, there are no suspect leads, but the Department said it will keep the community updated as additional details become available.

Due to the violent nature of this attack, “additional officers will be deployed on bike and foot patrol in the downtown corridor and Central Park areas to ensure a visible public safety presence.”

Breaux, was a Stanford University graduate, and was also instrumental in the creation and organization of the Compassion Bench in 2013, located at the corner of 3rd/C Street, and also published a book of anonymous collected writings by community members on the subject.

“I had decided to spend the rest of my life with a pen and notepad and asking people to share their concept of compassion… I will continue doing this, until this can no longer continue,” he is quoted as saying; and he did just that.

The council said, “We know this is a devastating loss to our community, as it is to us. We also understand that people may be feeling anxiety and uncertainty.”

Mayor Arnold added, “David was well-loved and well-known, an icon to the core of our community. He touched so many lives in such a determined and inspired way that many of us in our lifetimes will never reach.”

The Mayor continued, “How we walk through this world, together as a community and independently as individuals, is important. It’s the people we meet, the messages we share and how we eventually leave this world in a better place.

“David asked us to reflect on our actions and words. So let us do that together to honor his memory and acknowledge the work he did to make this world, and Davis, a better place,” he said.  “Today, tomorrow and every day, please be kind with your words, be generous in your actions and act with compassion in whatever you do.”

About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

Related posts


  1. Jeff Shaw


    Thousands of people talked with David, mostly as he stood at the corner of 3rd and C for several years in all weather, but also for newspaper articles or broadcast programs. He appeared twice on Davisville, KDRT’s longstanding public affairs program, in June 2010 and again for a follow-up discussion in December 2013, in which he explained what brought him to Davis, why he stood at 3rd and C, his deep commitment to compassion, and what he wanted to achieve. By 2013, his vigil had grown into a much larger effort.

Leave a Reply

X Close

Newsletter Sign-Up

X Close

Monthly Subscriber Sign-Up

Enter the maximum amount you want to pay each month
Sign up for