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.
LEADING THE RCNS HEADLINES:
“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.”
“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.”
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.