Beaten Teen Girl Still in Coma

Josie Ratley in critical condition at Broward Medical Center

View Comments ()
|
Email
|
Print

    NEWSLETTERS

    Josie Lou Ratley

    The Deerfield Beach teen beaten by a teen boy over a text message remains in critical condition and in a medically induced coma this morning.

    Josie Lou Ratley, 15, has undergone two surgeries to relieve pressure on her brain from the savage beating that took place last Wednesday outside Deerfield Beach Middle School.

    Teen's Family Speaks

    [MI] Teen's Family Speaks
    Deerfield Beach teen Josie Ratley clings to life and her family struggles to cope. (Published Monday, Mar 22, 2010)

    Doctors at Broward General Medical Center said Friday that they're optimistic about Ratley's recovery, but that it's now a matter of waiting for her to heal.

    Ratley's mother, Hilda Gotay Ratley, and aunt, Linda Sarmiento, appeared on the "Today Show" this morning along with the family's lawyer, Rick Freedman, to discuss the incident.

    Teen's Parents on the Today Show

    [MI] Teen's Parents on the Today Show
    Josie Ratley's mom speaks about her daughter's condition for the first time on Monday (Published Monday, Mar 22, 2010)

    Viewers also got a first look at Josie Ratley since the brutal attack. A photo showed her sleeping in her hospital bed, her face severely swollen with a black eye and breathing tubes in her mouth.

    Fighting back tears, Hilda Ratley said she doesn't know much about what prompted the attack.

    "All I know is my baby's in the hospital," she said. "I don't know anything."

    Her daughter's alleged attacker, 15-year-old Wayne Treacy, is being held at a juvenile detention center. Treacy's 13-year-old alleged accomplice, Kayla Manson, is also being held.

    "She doesn't know this boy," Hilda Ratley said of her daughter and Treacy.

    Police said Ratley was punched, knocked to the ground and had her head repeatedly slammed on the concrete by Treacy, who stomped on the girl with his steel-toed boots.

    Police think the attack was sparked by text messages Ratley wrote about Treacy's dead brother. Manson was arrested for helping to point Ratley out to Treacy.

    Hilda Ratley said she can't believe her daughter could've provoked such a brutal attack.

    "She's a sweetheart, she's like a little mother...very protective," she said.

    "Something triggered him to act the way he did, although I just can't imagine anybody, a 15-year-old, premeditated, putting on steel-toed boots, telling somebody that they're gonna go snap the neck and kill a girl who he'd never even met," Freedman said. "That's the most amazing part about this thing, he comes onto campus and has to be directed to who the girl is."

    Asked about the school where the attack happened, which is also the school attended by teen burn victim Michael Brewer and his accused attackers, Sarmiento said they should have done more.

    "Where is the security? Where are the teachers?" Sarmiento asked. "Where is everyone when these children are out and about like this and ready to go home and no one was there when this incident happened, it's mindboggling."    

    Treacy's lawyer, Betsy Benson, said he's been placed on suicide watch at the detention center. Prosecutors are charging Treacy with attempted murder.