Son describes agony after Dr’s ask to pull plug on critically injured Anza mauling victim

ANZA — A son, already grieving after his mother was viciously mauled by three dogs while hanging laundry on her rural Anza property last Saturday, is now stuck having to make the terrible decision whether or not to leave his critically injured mother on life support or to allow doctors to remove his mother from the machines that have been keeping her alive for the last four days.

After what one animal control official described as a “horrific attack,” Angela Johnson was airlifted to Desert Regional Medical Center in Palm Springs, where she underwent numerous surgeries and remains on life support. According to Johnson’s family, the victim’s husband, Rey Johnson, is disabled and wheelchair bound and has spent the last four days haunting the hospital hallways and staying in nearby hotels, while trying to remain as close to his critically injured wife as possible.


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“I was asked to let my mother die today, by doctors and family,” Tim Platt, the victim’s son and only child, explained Monday, Dec. 17. “Everyone tried to convince me today to just let her die as one side of her brain swelled into the other side. But I just could not let my mother go.”

Angela Johnson remains on life support since last Saturday’s vicious mauling by three dogs described as pit bulls or pit bull mixes. Tim Platt photo

 “The dogs basically ate my mom alive, ripping out a main artery in her throat, causing a severe stroke to the left side of her brain, leaving her half brain dead,” Platt continued. 

Photos Platt released of his mother at the hospital showed her arms and legs heavily bandaged and showed the machines that have been keeping Johnson alive.

Despite what the doctors and other family members have suggested, Platt has said he is just not ready to let his mother go, saying, ” I just want my mom to stay alive.”

Platt and other family members are now in disagreement over how best to proceed and two competing GoFundMe accounts have since been created; with Platt not asking for any donations at all, but trying to plead his case to allow his mother to live. The other GoFundMe, created by Mary Perkins is pleading for funds to help Johnson’s wheelchair bound husband, as he deals with the enormous medical costs and other expenses associated with his wife’s attack.

The dogs that allegedly attacked Johnson are “pit bulls or pit bull mixes,” according to John Welsh, a spokesman for Riverside County Department of Animal Services. They have all been impounded at the agency’s San Jacinto Valley Animal Campus and because of the severity of the attack, animal control officials are already seeking to have the dogs euthanized.

The Anza resident whose dogs attacked Johnson, later identified by RCNS as 61-year-old Jesse, Leon Miranda, was arrested within hours of the attack, after deputies investigating the mauling learned he had a felony warrant for his arrest for vehicle theft and possession of stolen property.

He was booked into Cois Byrd Detention Center the day of the attack; however, he was released the day after his arrest after posting $20,000 bail. He could face multiple charges related to Saturday morning’s attack, according to animal control and sheriff’s officials.

“This is another preventable attack on an innocent person and one we find very upsetting,” Riverside County Department of Animal Services Director Robert Miller said the day of the mauling. “It’s imperative that owners of these types of dogs do everything in their power to prevent such horrific attacks.”

SEE ORIGINAL REPORT: Anza woman airlifted with “severe” injuries after mauled by 3 pit bulls, owner arrested

There were reportedly no witnesses to the mauling and investigators are still trying to determine why the attack happened. However, because of the “severity of the attack,” animal control officials have already said they will be seeking “a destruction order from an independent hearing officer.”

Deputies assigned to Riverside County Sheriff’s Hemet Station and Riverside County Department of Animal Services are investigating the mauling and their investigation is ongoing.

This is a developing story that will be updated as new information is available.

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Trevor Montgomery, 47, moved last year to the Intermountain area of Shasta County from Riverside County and runs Riverside County News Source and Shasta County News Source. Additionally, he writes for several other news organizations; including Riverside County based newspapers, Valley News, The Valley Chronicle, and Anza Valley Outlook; as well as Bonsall/Fallbrook Village News in San Diego County and Mountain Echo in Shasta County.

Trevor spent 10 years in the U.S. Army as an Orthopedic Specialist before joining the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in 1998. He was medically retired after losing his leg, breaking his back, and suffering both spinal cord and brain injuries in an off-duty accident. (Click here to see segment of Discovery Channel documentary of Trevor’s accident.)

During his time with the sheriff’s department, Trevor worked at several different stations; including Robert Presley Detention Center, Southwest Station in Temecula, Hemet/Valle Vista Station, Ben Clark Public Safety Training Center, and Lake Elsinore Station; along with other locations.

Trevor’s assignments included Corrections, Patrol, DUI Enforcement, Boat and Personal Water-Craft based Lake Patrol, Off-Road Vehicle Enforcement, Problem Oriented Policing Team, and Personnel/Background Investigations. He finished his career while working as a Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Investigator and was a court-designated expert in child abuse and child sex-related crimes.

Trevor has been married for more than 28 years and was a foster parent to more than 60 children over 13 years. He is now an adoptive parent and his “fluid family” includes 13 children and 15 – but soon to be 16 – grandchildren.


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  • It is absolutely horrible that yet ANOTHER family is facing these horrendous horrors. “They are Investigating to see why the attack happened”, ummm it happened because a pack of pitties were ‘bored’ and able to roam.
    These dog attacks are now commonplace. Several maulings each week. Multiple pets are killed EVERYDAY. At least 38,000 other animals each year are killed by pits. Check out – please give this family some justice, and some closure. Put these 3 dogs down, and then charge the owner with manslaughter. If he had run over this woman while driving, because he didn’t have control of his vehicle he would incur manslaughter charges. The owner of this trio of dogs is directly responsible for this womans death. Please do right by her disabled husband & the rest of her family.

    Pit bulls were NEVER bred to be pets until recent years. The were purpose bred just like MOST breeds were, however their purpose was to be a deadly fighter. Not a nanny. Not a couch potato. Not a bed warmer. NOT a pet – although there are always exceptions to the rule. Some pitties are so game they are fighting littermates when just a couple months old. Some pit bitches are to dog aggressive to rear their own pups. Some are too dog aggressive to be bred without breeding stands and muzzles.
    They are bred to have a HUGE tolerance to pain. They were bred to finish a fight with broken legs, or their guts trailing behind them. They are extreme athletes – like cage fighters – anything goes. They think for themselves. They had to. No owner can tell them every move to make during a fight, unlike you would direct a border collie, or cattle dog while working. They look for weaknesses. Gut shots are common. Genetics cannot be trained out. It can often be managed, however like an addict one must FIRST admit there is a problem.

    Personally I don’t believe a ban will help. Miami/McDade FLORIDA banned them some time ago. Still their pounds are full of them. They just lie & relabel them with a dozen other breed mixes. I DO believe that if (attempted) manslaughter, or murder charges were to be levied against the owners, as well as felony dog fighting charges for alll the animals they’ve injured people would think twice before harboring these breeds… APBT (American pit bull terrier, American Stafford shire – both the same, but one is AKC & one UKC IF registered at all).
    PS mini blinds with cords are being banned, because in the last decade a couple thousand children have been injured. Pitties have injured at least double/triple those numbers, but rarely do ANY charges even get applied.

  • These attacks happen multiple times daily across our country. When the victim is alone and no one is available to help them fend off the attack and/or multiple dogs are involved, the outcome is most severe. EVERY 11 DAYS this year
    (2018) in the United States someone has been killed by a dog. EIGHTY percent of the deaths were due to attacks from pit bull terriers/pit bull terrier mixes. Over 95% of the severe attacks on other animals are done by pit bull terriers and pit bull mixes. These dogs comprise SIX PERCENT of the total dog population. These statistics are INSANE and a WARNING of what is to come. These statistics have been proven through Victims, owners and first responders testimonies. These attacks have happened for decades and are increasing EXPONENTIALLY on people and pets all over the world.
    WHAT, I ASK, IS THE TIPPING POINT? How many deaths are enough before the government steps in and regulates their irresponsible breeding, rescuing and dogfighting? Other breeds aren’t doing this. It DOESNT MATTER that all dogs from this breed aren’t attacking (or haven’t yet attacked). Way too many are attacking. People and pets have the right to walk down the street, out into their own yard, enjoy the park or airport without fear of being dismembered, disemboweled or scalped. Let’s do something to regulate these dogs. Tell their owners that the risk that they are taking in order to “save this poor misunderstood breed” is NOT everyone’s risk. Muzzling these dogs would stop the severity of their violent assaults. But pit bull owners don’t want to “make their dogs sad :(……..YET where is their sadness over horrifying and gut wrenching attacks and deaths? And all because they didn’t want to muzzle their malignancy? Containing them properly would also help. These dogs ALWAYS ESCAPE. Being VIGILANT CONSTANTLY IS IMPERATIVE. I personally don’t know ANYONE who can remain constantly vigil over ANYTHING much less a dangerous dog.
    As someone who worked with pits in the 70s in a veterinarians office (where by the way they were STILL the most dangerous dog around, people just weren’t dumb enough to bring them into their homes-they were all fighting dogs back then) and as a volunteer for the National Victims of Canine Attacks Support Network since 2012 I have seen the damage that these dogs have done and are still doing. I know the dogbreeds attacking, I personally know victims and know that the stats on these dangerous dogs are accurate . Let’s protect innocents from this horrifying reality and enact Breed Specific Legislation across our country like SO MANY other countries have done.
    Best Friends Animal Society has mounted a well funded legal push to knock down Breed Specific legislation across the country. Their representative L.V. shows up at many hearings across the country (despite the fact that their home office is in California with a new office in New York) to “dispel the myths” about these dogs. This group makes hundreds of millions of dollars annually over this money making Breed. To my knowledge they have never once donate any of that money to any of our victims. They put it back into shameless promotion and legal attacks on small city councils to end or prevent the Breed Specific legislation that would protect the citizens of our country. Do people NOW understand that pit bulls are a money making business with hundreds of rescues going broke in order to support the myth and cover up the attacks?
    I’m so sorry for this woman and her family. Your government has forsaken you, forsakes us all….

    Family members and/or friend’s can find us on Facebook at the National Victims of Canine Attacks Support Network. All contacts are confidential. We don’t post on the page as our advocates are not allowed access to victims of the breed. Shoot us an email if we can help. God Bless us All.

  • So many grandmothers, sisters, daughters have been taken by pit bulls. Condolences to Tim and his family. You are not alone. Pits are taking a person on average every 12 days. My thoughts are with you and yours.

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  • Any dog can be vicious any dog can maul some one its just not pitts yes they have a bad rap but i have heard of a saint bernard the kind that rescue people attack and maul someone too for one its how you raise your dog and 2nd not all pitbulls will attack ive had several friends and family member have pittbulls they never attacked a soul or even nipped at a person the peraon who raised the pittbulls is the one to blame its their up bringing not the breed pitts are just always looked down upon but they can make good pets as long as you train them the right way so before you blame the dog look at the owner as i read the owner was a bad person to begin with so mabey the owner trained them to be vicious so next time dont judge every single pitt bull cause its their up brining not their breed

  • Even small/medium dogs with NO pit in them have killed kids and babies-
    It isn’t what’s in a dog’s blood, it’s how a dog is raised. Every dog is unique, but just like with humans abuse, neglect, and being raised wrong won’t make a normal, functioning being. It’s “cute” or “funny” when a small dog is allowed to be violent, territorial, and aggressive, because they’re small- but all of a sudden just because people being stupid neglectful dog owners now has CONSEQUENCES, it’s “ban pits”. Studies have shown that pits are lower than a ton of small dogs on the scale of aggressive nature, people just think you can get a dog and then never train it and just throw food at it, and hit/yell/lock up when they misbehave as if that hasn’t been shown to CAUSE violent outbursts and aggression.

    Some people should never be allowed to own a dog. Not even a small one.