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Claremont community rallies around CHS family struck by tragedy

The Claremont Wolfpack football team is participating in a fundraising campaign to support the family of their JV quarterback, James Brazzill, whose mother, Krista Brazzill, was brutally beaten in the backyard of the Upland home she shares with James.

The attack happened on December 2 at 11 a.m. when Ms. Brazzill was at her residence and heard a man later identified as Armando Ramirez Jr., a 29-year-old transient, attempting to break into her house. When she went into her backyard, Mr. Ramirez attacked her, striking her head repeatedly with an object and then attempted to strangle her.

A news release on the Upland Police Department’s Twitter account had this description:  “The suspect was startled by the victim and assaulted her with a blunt force weapon. The suspect was arrested and booked at West Valley Detention Center.”

Witnesses said that Mr. Ramirez held Ms. Brazzill in a chokehold as she screamed for help. When police arrived he refused their orders to let Ms. Brazzill go and was subsequently subdued with a taser.

Mr. Ramirez was arrested on suspicion of burglary, assault with a deadly weapon and attempted murder. Additional information released Monday indicated that Mr. Ramirez had been released from jail in Fontana four hours before the attack.

The COURIER contacted Upland police for further details, but had not received a return call as of Wednesday.

Ms. Brazzill, 45, was taken to Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center following the assault and was in the intensive care unit. On Wednesday she was moved to Huntington Hospital and is in critical but stable condition. A week after the attack she had made little progress, which was both good news, since her condition had not deteriorated, but also frustrating as she remained on a feeding tube and under sedation. On Wednesday her condition finally improved slightly, and she was able to discern instructions and give limited responses.

Ms. Brazzill, a single mother of three, has been described as a “caring, selfless and helpful person,” who is always appreciative and grateful. Her other children, Nick Brazzill and Amber Cooksey, are in their early 20s and live on their own.

Her father, Rand Bass, flew out from Northern Virginia on Monday and has been a pillar of strength for the family since he arrived. His presence has been particularly important for James as the whole family waits each day for updates on Ms. Brazzill’s condition. Mr. Bass is staying with James at the home where the attack occurred.

Desiree Meguerditchian, a family friend, set up a GoFundMe account on Thursday to raise money for medical and living expenses. The campaign goal is to raise $100,000, mainly for mounting medical bills and the prospect of a lengthy recovery once Ms. Brazzill is released from the hospital.

Claremont football coach Shane Hile has visited the hospital four times, mostly to support James as he copes with his mother’s injuries and the potential implications for his own life. The team created a handmade card with more than 60 signatures, and his CHS teachers also sent a card.

Mr. Hile said it was important to show that he and the team “love and support James and his family.”

The football team is joining Ms. Brazzill’s family and friends in supporting the GoFundMe campaign, which has raised $16,267 as of Wednesday.

Those interested in donating may do so online at gofundme.com/support-for-recovery-of-senseless-attack.

Checks made payable to Krista Brazzill may be mailed to Ms. Meguerditchian’s law office: Foothill Law Group, C/O Krista Brazzill, 230 E. Foothill Blvd., Suite C, Arcadia CA 91006.

—Steven Felschundneff

steven@claremont-courier.com

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