Los Angeles/ Crime & Emergencies
AI Assisted Icon
Published on May 22, 2024
Victim in Venice Canal Attack Declared Brain Dead, Suspect Could Face Murder ChargesSource: Carol M. Highsmith, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

A woman assaulted in a vicious attack near the Venice Canals last month has been declared brain dead, intensifying the horror of a case already sending ripples of fear through the local community. The 29-year-old suspect, Anthony Francisco Jones, apprehended in San Diego after fleeing the scene of the crimes, is currently facing charges including two counts of forcible rape, mayhem, and attempted murder, rooted in the violence enacted on the night of April 6, according to information provided by KTLA.

The Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office, now confronted with the news of the victim's dire condition, is considering elevating the charges against Jones to include murder while grappling with an attack not just on individual bodies but on the collective psyche of those who tread the canals' edge, a once-tranquil precinct turned hunting ground, as stated in a release to ABC7. Disturbing details emerged as the second victim, Mary Klein, recounted from her hospital bed how Jones attacked her from behind and "bashed" her face, an assault leaving her with a wired-shut jaw and bruises, painting a portrait of brutality and savagery unlike any she imagined the night would unveil, she said in an interview with KTLA.

As the neighborhood comes to grips with the increasing violence, including an incident involving an active shooter weeks prior, Venice locals like Aimee Nelson recount a decade of memories now viewed through the lens of vigilance, sharing emotional reactions upon hearing the Massachusetts woman's condition and the palpable increase in fear amongst neighbors, according to her statements to KTLA. A response has germinated from within the community in the form of a "Know Your Neighbor" initiative, a patchwork of solidarity where residents walk each other home and gift proactive tools of self-defense. A revelation by neighbor Ramon Goni to KTLA, is perhaps a testament to the resilience of a community in the face of unanticipated savagery.

L.A. City Councilwoman Traci Park expressed her devastation and extended her condolences on behalf of Venice, reflecting a shared mourning and a collective quest for justice, while DA George Gascón pledged through his chief of staff Tiffiny Blacknell that “Our Office is evaluating how we will proceed to ensure the defendant is held fully accountable for his conduct,” in a sentiment made available to ABC7. The lone surviving victim, Klein, and her family are grappling with the burden of the latest developments and are not ready to speak publicly.