DEERFIELD BEACH, Fla. (CBS/AP) A 15-year-old middle school student, Josie Lou Ratley, who was severely beaten and kicked in the head by a fellow student wearing steel-toed boots, remains in a medically induced coma Monday, but her doctors are “optimistic” about two recent surgeries to relieve pressure on her brain, according to family attorney Rick Freedman.
Ratley was allegedly attacked by 15-year-old Wayne Treacy, March 17 in front of Deerfield Middle School, north of Fort Lauderdale.
An arrest affidavit says that Treacy approached Ratley “knocking her to the ground, the defendant stood over her and began to strike her head on the ground, face down five or six times. While the victim lay defenseless and motionless, the defendant stood over her and kicked her in the head five to seven times with steel-toed boots.”
Doctors at Broward General Medical Center said Ratley’s injuries are so severe that they had to remove a portion of her skull as part of two separate surgeries to relieve pressure on her brain.
The attack was reportedly sparked by disparaging text messages from Ratley’s cell phone to Treacy, according to the Broward County Sheriff’s office. Police would not release the content of the texts.
But Ratley’s mother told ABC’s The Today Show that her daughter did not know Treacy.
“All I know is my baby is in the hospital, I don’t know anything,” Hilda Gotay Ratley said.
Treacy’s 13-year-old girlfriend, Kayla Manson, was also arrested and has been charged as an accessory to attempted first-degree murder.
Betsy Benson, Treacy’s attorney, confirmed Thursday that her 15-year-old client was being held after a judge determined there was probable cause to hold him on a charge of attempted murder.
Treacy’s next court date is March 26.