Valley News -

By Trevor Montgomery

Son describes agony after doctors ask to pull plug on critically injured Anza mauling victim


Last updated 12/19/2018 at 12:46pm

Courtesy photo

Three dogs that allegedly mauled Anza resident Angela Johnson as she hung laundry in her yard now sit impounded at a San Jacinto Animal Control facility.

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.

"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.


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