In Pennsylvania, Johnesha Monae Perry has been charged with attempted homicide after throwing her 20-month-old son off a bridge. On May 3rd, Perry left her apartment and went to the Lehigh River where she pushed her son into 52-feet of water and then jumped in herself. However, she survived and is now in police custody.
Additionally, Perry faces two counts of aggravated assault and one count of endangering the welfare of a child. Thankfully, her son survived but is in very critical condition at Lehigh Valley Hospital-Cedar Crest. Prior to the incident, witnesses say Perry placed her son up on a railing, kissed his forehead and said it was her “time” before jumping in.
Joseph Ianetta was the police officer that found the boy and immediately performed mouth-to-mouth resuscitation until a paramedic arrived. Currently, the mother is expected to have surgery on a broken arm and the toddler is still in the hospital.
Neighbors of Perry said she seemed fine a few weeks before she attempted to kill her son and herself. Willie Lopez said, “She looked normal; the kid was playing in the yard. He was OK, you know, a happy kid. It’s just sad, you know.”
The Morning Call reports that another neighbor, Margarita Galarza, said she thought Perry’s son was well cared for. She said, “I see her and the baby is clean, cared for. I think, that’s a nice mother. I’ve got three daughters and sometimes you need help. Maybe there was nobody to help her.”
District Judge Donna R. Butler arraigned Perry on Sunday night as she lay in a hospital bed. Perry also faces two counts of aggravated assault and one count of endangering the welfare of a child. Butler ordered her held under $100,000 bail.
Perry’s family members could not be reached for comment. On her Facebook page, Perry says she’s originally from Coatesville, Chester County, but went to Allen High School. Her Facebook feed features pictures of the child and selfies. In one picture from October, mom and baby are posing for a picture in front of a pumpkin decoration.
In one section Perry describes herself this way: “I am a beautiful gifted girl that can make anyone smile even when they are down … Most of all I keep it REAL, I don’t like sugar coating I get my point across. I LOVE ME!”
Neighbors said Perry moved into a second-floor apartment of a row house on Hall Street three or four weeks ago.
Lopez, the neighbor, said he would see her walking the boy to a nearby day care about 8 or 8:30 a.m. and then pick him up about 2 p.m. He said Perry mostly kept to herself.
Watch the video below to learn more about this tragic story.