LA woman suffers brain injury after stranger stabs her with garden shears
A 24-year-old Los Angeles woman is recovering from a traumatic brain injury after a homeless man stabbed her in the head with a pair of gardening shears in an unprovoked attack, authorities said.
Kyli Watts, 24, was walking along Lankershim Boulvard in North Hollywood around 11:30 a.m. Oct. 10 when the grisly assault took place, according to news station KTLA.
The suspected stabber, 30-year-old Johnathan Cole, rammed a pair of gardening shears with four-inch blades into the back of Watts’s head as they passed while walking down the street, police said.
Watts ran to a nearby restaurant with the weapon still embedded in her skull and begged for help before collapsing to the ground.
Staff at the restaurant were able to call 911 and Watts was rushed to a nearby hospital.
After the attack, she immediately called her mother, a psychiatric nurse in North Carolina.
Despite the horrific nature of the crime, her mother said she understood what happened to her daughter was a “social and systemic failure,” and that more needs to be done to help those living on the streets who are struggling with mental illness.
Her mother, Amy Watts, said they’d been a foster family for 15 years, and had experience taking care of people suffering from severe mental illnesses.
“She understands this is a very sick person,” her mother said.
“This is a problem that we as a society have to look at and figure out what’s next,” she said. “Because this is just going to continue to get worse.”
Watts underwent surgery and suffered a traumatic brain injury and remains in the hospital. She faces a difficult road to recovery, and will likely face more long-term issues with her balance and vision as a result.
On top of the brutal attack, Watts was just laid off from her job in tech recruiting, which she moved to Los Angeles for a matter of weeks ago, and currently has no health insurance, according to a GoFundMe set up on her behalf.
According to the fundraiser, Watts will likely remain in the hospital for the next two weeks.