Tag Archives: graffiti

Paint Louis follow-up

JONAH IS IN THE BELLY OF THE WHALE

The original E-Mail From his dad to friends and family, 7/4/2000

On the evening of June 28, Jonah Anderson aka “STUN”, (who is one of the top air-brush and graffiti artists in St.Louis, nationally known, and also my son) and his friend Jesus were coming hope from a bar in St. Louis. Jesus was driving his car through the alley behind the building where he lives to the spot where he parks his car. The alley was blocked by a truck. Jesus peeped the horn and hollered to move the vehicle so he could park. Four men and a woman were standing near the truck. The men approached the car as Jesus and Jonah got out. Before hardly a word was spoken, Jonah was attacked by two of the men, Jesus by at least one of them. Jonah went down almost immediately from a blow to the head by, we think, a baseball bat, pipe, or perhaps a piece of wood. The men continued to beat Jesus, but finished up by going back one more time at Jonah who was already unconscious and lying on the ground bleeding.

After the men and girl left, Jesus struggled the two blocks to where Jonah lived to get help. We still don’t know exactly who called the police, but that resulted in Jonah being removed from the alley by ambulance and delivered to St.Louis University Hospital. He was rushed into surgery where the good doctors spent 3 hours operating on Jonah’s brain, a small part of which had to be removed. He was stabilized and was sent to the high risk ICU unit on the 5th floor where he has remained since. The folks at the hospital have told us he was only minutes away from death. The doctors have said that it’s likely Jonah has suffered permanent damage and that we should be prepared for the worst. He has been fighting to stay alive for six days, but hasn’t yet turned the corner to recovery. He is still in great danger.

Jesus at the time of this writing has still not been to a hospital, but appears to be okay. He has spoken to the police and has identified three of the men who caused the assault. The two that attacked Jonah are in custody. These two men, brothers 29 and 30, have an extensive history with the police. At the time of this event, they were out on bond in regard to the beating of a man who was simply getting out of his pickup truck. That man was beaten with a baseball bat. Blows to the head, resulting in the man’s face and bone structure having to be completely rebuilt. Apparently there was no provocation.

I was awakened the same evening as the assault about two in the morning here in Grand Rapids by a call from his mother, Kathy, in Minneapolis. I immediately called Uncle Randy, Randy Bishop, who lives in St.Louis and who is very close to Jonah. He immediately went to the hospital and then to Jonah’s apartment to gather further information. Even before Randy got to the hospital, Jonah’s art community had arrived. Nina MacDonald, who runs a coffee shop and is mother by blood to two of the city’s young artists, and foster mom to many more, was already there along with others.

Kathy was able to get there about noon of the following day. I arrived in the evening. I can tell you, it was quite a shock to see our 27 year old, 6’2″, 240 lb baby boy laying motionless in that hospital bed. Wires and tubes everywhere connected to digital this at that, monitoring every function of his body. In the six days that have followed, he has held his own. We were told he might lose the control over his right side motor skills, but he has already (still unconscious), with his right hand, reached up and grabbed the arm of a doctor who was adjusting some tubes. Today, as his bed was being adjusted, he attempted to sit up (again, still unconscious). Over the last few days, he has moved all his limbs while positioning himself in the bed. It is plain to see that he’s fighting to get back to us. This has had a downside though. In his agitation, the pressure on his brain goes back up along with his blood pressure. Just as the doctors were beginning to wean him off of the medication that keeps him sedated, they’ve had to increase the medication again to keep him still. It is important that he becomes conscious as soon as possible to avoid the pitfalls of being in a hospital bed so long. As long as he lays there he is at risk for pneumonia, stroke, and infection for starters. When he is conscious, the pressure on his brain and his blood pressure will have subsided to a level of safety. Then, and only then can we take a deep breath.

In the days following the assault, Kathy and I have been overwhelmed by how much our son is loved and respected by the community. Not only St.Louis, but all over the country. The calls have come from all over the USA from his fellow graffiti artists wanting to know how STUN (Jonah’s painting handle) was doing and if there was anything they could do. Nina, with a little help from her and Jonah’s friends, has begun organizing all those who Jonah worked for, the clubs, the restaurants, the people involved with Paint Louis (the city’s annual graffiti project at the flood wall of which Jonah was one of the founders and who currently sits on the board of the connected non-profit corporation.). All media, radio, TV, and the newspapers have been contacted. Over the next couple of weeks this story will become very well known to the general public. That’s it up till this point,

7/4/00 9:00 AM CST

The chronological order of the updates
continue at Past Updates and the most recent
updates are below on this page.

[ Current Updates On His Condition ]

[ The Story] [ Past Updates ]

[ Recovery Fund ] [ Contact Information ]

[ Picture Gallery ] [ Thoughts From Mom ]

[ Thoughts From Dad ] [ Message Board ]

Posted in art, community, graffiti, narrative, St. Louis, violence | Also tagged , , , Comments Off on Paint Louis follow-up