A North Philadelphia mother saw her 4-month-old baby dragged from bed and attacked by a raccoon on Wednesday night. The baby was rushed to the hospital for surgery and ended up with 65 stitches in her face.
Ashley Rodgers says she had gone into the bathroom with her 6-year-old between 10 and 11 p.m. when the attack took place. She told reporters from FOX 5 that she came back into the one-room apartment to find 4-month-old Journi Black across the room from her crib covered in blood.
"She was laying on the floor — across the room — blood all over her face and her PJs," Rodgers said.
She believes the raccoon pulled her baby from the bed to the floor and then all the way across the room, leaving vicious cuts and gashes on her face. Rodgers has launched a GoFundMe campaign to help her with Journi's mounting medical costs.
Warning: there are graphic images below.
The baby will be treated with a rabies vaccine in addition to her surgery and stitches, but doctors say she'll turn out fine.
The building, which is on North 22nd Street in Philly, is now under investigation. The owner, Jihad Simpson, owes $23,000 in back taxes on the property, though the city told reporters that he's up to date on his payment plan. However, City Licences and Inspection confirmed that Simpson had no licence to rent the apartments in the building, and that he told them he wasn't renting it yet.
Rodgers disputes this claim, telling reporters that she moved in on Tuesday, paying $375 in rent up front. She's still accepting donations to help her shoulder the financial burden of her daughter's recovery.0comments
On Thursday, animal control officers searched the building in response to the incident. Other residents attested that they'd have no trouble finding the scavengers as there's a lot of them, and they reportedly have a multitude of hiding spots.
Simpson hasn't commented or responded to any calls on the subject of the attack.