FBI Investigates Alleged Hate Crime
#2 Jun 30, 2011
Johnny Bonta, bleeding and barely standing after being hit in the knees with a bat, was arrested on the scene and taken to jail. He said he was not allowed medical treatment for six days while he was in the county jail, all the while uncertain about what charges had been filed against him.
Assuming he was on his way to the hospital, Lisa Bonta had no idea her husband had been arrested. She finally located her husband in jail after calling other facilities repeatedly, and was very upset that he was not given medical treatment for his extensive injuries.
“I asked them to tell me what charges he was being held on and no one would say. They said they gave him the information, but he can’t read or write, so I needed to find out. At first they said there was a bench warrant for an unpaid $367 fine, and when we made arrangements to pay that, they charged him with battery with a deadly weapon, even though it was those boys who had the weapons. The booking papers say we owe $30,367.00.”
Lisa Bonta is outraged that their attackers were all released at the scene of the crime and were not charged despite the fact they bragged about it on Facebook on May 24, the day of the attack.
Two hours after attacking the Bontas, Josh Janiszewski of Fernley wrote,“Just laid the fists and boots to some 6′ 5” tongan dude. what you got on little guys?” at 3:13 p.m. When asked if they gave them hell, Josh responded.“Oh we did. That’s for sure!” at 3:48 p.m.“Amen,” said Jacob Cassell at 4:07 p.m.
Jacob’s mother Dee Cassell also commented,“So…who has blood? You guys need to come home to mom?” at 4:48 p.m. She later added that she gave them First Aid.“Better have ur asses at home after I did 1st aid. Don’t piss off women – they r worse than men!” she wrote at 8:00 p.m.
When asked if they got “some good licks” in, Josh said,“sent em to the hospital, they got fucked up man, thats for sure.”
Meanwhile, Johnny Bonta stayed behind bars while Lisa and her family called the jail each day, asking if Johnny had been treated for his injuries. No one would tell her his condition. One morning, she says a surly guard told her “he’ll have to get his Indian doctor if he wants treatment,” then hung up on her.
Lisa appealed to the Reno Spark Indian Colony and said she was able to get two Indian Health Service doctors to agree to visit Johnny in jail, but was told by jail officials that could not be allowed. It was not until tribal police pursued Johnny’s release that he was finally released after six days and was able to see a doctor.
The family also lost their car following the attack. The Bontas could not locate their car after the Lyon County Sheriff’s office had it towed from the scene. When Lisa called to ask about their car, she was told the police had no information. She found the car two weeks later in a small towing yard, tires flattened and in need of repair. Since Johnny has not been able to work, they cannot afford to pay the impoundment fees or have it repaired. They are now walking to all of their medical appointments in Reno. The situation has created great hardship for them and their children.
“We lost everything as a result of this attack, and now we’re homeless since we can’t go back to Fernley,” said Lisa.“The FBI took our statement last week and we know they got a copy of the video from the gas station parking lot. We are asking for a full investigation into this hate crime.”
#3 Jun 30, 2011
The Bontas said since this happened, at least four other Native families have told them they too were harassed and attacked by skinheads in nearby border towns.
“Someone could have died that day,” said Lisa,“and the only reason this happened is because my husband and son-in-law have brown skin. We have a 10-year-old daughter, and I have to speak out about what happened for her sake. I just don’t understand why these young boys think they have the right to randomly beat others. We have to put a stop to this kind of behavior.”
Lisa also said they are hiring an attorney.“I want the police to know they can’t deny people medical treatment just because they feel like it. Johnny could have died from a head injury, and they violated his civil rights. They should be held accountable.”
Since the story broke supporters have started a petition at change.org for the Governor of Nevada to address the situation along with other hate crimes in Nevada. A Facebook page was also created in support of the Bonta family.
Indian Country Today Media Network will continue to follow this story and is looking into any fundraising information there may be for our readers. The case has been classified as a hate crime and is under investigation by the FBI. ICTMN is currently waiting for approval for copies of the police report.
-Find full article here:
#4 Jun 30, 2011
The hate must stop! Those boys need to be held accountable for their hateful actions. Not only was it despicable that they beat Johnny Bonta up, but bragging about it on Facebook? I am praying for this family and hope justice will prevail.
As for those boys... well, let's just say karma's a bitch
#5 Jun 30, 2011
That is crazy. The entire family should be in jail. They should be be in Big Trouble. And the mom? Oh the mom? No wonder her kids would do something like that, look where they learned it from. What kind of people do something like that? Stupidity must run in their genes.
#6 Jul 1, 2011
I've been a cop for 42 years in CA. I thought I was reading a dust cover to a 1950s novel on civil rights violations from that era. Being a cop, I obviously know there are always two sides, but the ignorant Facebook comments lead a lot of credence to the victims' comments. Oh, Jacob's mother is a real dandy isn't she?
If the events transpired as decribed, this family has to know that there are some agencies that still think we are in the 1950s, but not many. If the action taken (or not taken) by this agency is found to be true, I am ashamed and embarrassed for my profession. This agency, if true, is not representative of NV. Las Vegas Metro is one of the best in the country.
#7 Jul 6, 2011
Don't be so quick to accuse, remember innocent until proven guilty. Cassel has numerous minorities in his family including a nephew and sister in law who are Indian.
The other side of this story is that Bonta followed the young men and waited until they left one of the boys parents house. They T-boned the young men's car and proceeded to attack them. Remember there is video from the gas station (prior to the boys being followed) that may or may not corroborate the statement.
The FBI is investigating this case, not Lyon County. If there was injustice they will find the truth.
I can say this, growing up in Fernley I know first hand how racist some of the paiutes from wadsworth can be. I know this is a stereotype but I have never been discriminated against more by any other nationality. Some of them were my friends but most of them hated me for being white, period.
#8 Jul 6, 2011
First of all this was no "hate crime" and i am saying that bonta and his family are liars. They were the ones looking for a fight that day. I am a friend of one of the witnesses and the native american community is hyping this incident up to be a hate crime when really bonta got the justice deserved so shame on him and shame on all the people involved in this who are lieing about this whole thing. I also know that the cassells are a diversified family and jacob loves his half native american nephew and two neices more than anything . So hate crime i dont think so get your facts not opinions or straight out lies before you try to ruin peoples lives. The lord god will shine the light on this investigation and when this is all over everyone involved with bonta's lies are all going to look ignorant!
#9 Jul 6, 2011
Oh i also had a question for the native american papers who forgot to tell the part of the story where bonta grabbed a crow bar and smashed out jacob cassells back side window of his car after he t-boned him to stop his car. So once again whos the guilty party here?
#10 Jul 6, 2011
I would like to fix my typos so i am not contributing lies my self. They smashed jacobs driver side window and they were not sure if it was with a wrench or golf club
#11 Jul 6, 2011
Dont forget the fact that the boys left the Quik-mart without incident. It was the Bontas who followed -or stalked - those boys. If the Bontas really didnt want to get into a fight, they might have been wise to drive in the opposite direction rather than follow waiting for an argument and the ending result. You get what you ask for... and stupid is as stupid does.
And what about the fact that the NDOT guys were right there to witness all of this? Did anyone manage to realize that YES there are actually witnesses?
Personally, if you pick a fight with those wirey young men, dont be surprised if they actually fight back. If I was being followed it would freak me out a bit and I WOULD protect myself. Wouldnt you???
#12 Jul 6, 2011
The more I read these posts from people who dont have a bloody CLUE as to how this family works, let me enlighten your stupidity. The Cassells are one of the LEAST racist families on this planet... and as for the cop with his stupid statements regarding 'the mom'... you are an idiot!!! Dee happens to be a wonderful mother and grandmother with a multitude of nationalities in HER OWN family!!! She is EVERYONES Nana Dee and has a heart better than yours ever will!
And Officer "LEB"? If you ARE a cop, you should know better than to even have an opinion about facts that have not been submitted, statements that have not even been taken by ANY family member until yesterday and the fact that there is actual evidence (you remember what evidence is, right Mr. Police Officer?) that proves the boys story??? I pray I dont run into you... you might put a bullet in my head for knowing the truth in order to protect you sovereinty as the worlds greatest detective!
All these statements have been to cover a guys wife and his mom who chatted up the indian community, played the "whoa is me", "everyone look at me" card and started using words that she probably never realized would create all this havoc. Now, when she has to take back her gossip and be embarrassed in front of the entire honorable nation of Indians who have jumped on the band-wagon and now get to take it all back, she will have to deal with the FBI and local government for being a contributing factor to hate and death threats based on her own post teenage stupidity. I hope the Cassells go after them in civil court and give the boys a nice bank account with which to pay for college! It would serve her right!!!
#13 Jul 6, 2011
I am truly trying to stay out of this until the investigation is done - I won't comment on the fight just want to clarify for myself. I asked "who has blood" on fb cause I wanted to know which boy was hurt & wanted them to come to my house house for 1st aid. Why? Cause they all agreed the EMT's needed to go check out the Bontas, even though blood was running down his face. He refused treatment. As far as losing their car, it was towed cause of no insurance,no registration & it wouldn't start after hitting the other car. TY!
#14 Jul 6, 2011
I am trying to refrain from commenting until after the investigation but I will also clarify myself. I posted on fb "who got blood" cause I wanted to know which boy was hurt & who needed to come to my house for 1st aid. Why? Cause Jacob refused 1st aid, everyone thought the Bontas should be looked at 1st. That's where my familys heart comes from. And the Bontas car was towed because of no insurance, no registration and it wouldn't start again after it hit the other car. There was also only 1 Native present - Bontas wife, step-daughter and son-in-law are all white. And Shane - shame on you - sorry you lost your parents!
#15 Jul 6, 2011
Isnt it a requirement of the State of Nevada to pay your registration on time and for proof of insurance??? Just sayin'......... duh!!!
#16 Jul 7, 2011
Here's what one of the attackers, Joshua Janiczewski, had to say on the Facebook community "Justice for Johnny Bonta and Family."
k well until you people learn to spell im just gonna laugh at you. just like everyone else is gonna laugh when that fat retard johnny bonta is going to go to jail again for being such a pussy, making up lies about some white boys because his fat ass got whoopped. tell him ill see him. get stomped you punk ass indians. This is why your country got took, because your morons. plain and simple. Cant wait to see you pussies cry some more.
You can find links to the original post - and to other commentaries made by Cassell & Janiczewski's supporters, at
#17 Jul 13, 2011
I have posted an update on this story at http://kenazfilan.blogspot.com/2011/07/johnny...
One clarification re: my earlier post. Leo Mayfield is Joshua Janiczewski's brother: I thought they were the same person but was mistaken.
#18 Jul 14, 2011
You really need to stop spreading half-truths...
You ARE a hate crime waiting to happen.
Perhaps you might want to wait for the truth to be exposed, especially since the wife finally confessed as to some realities? And that this is really all about 2 white boys who have been fighting for years and it just got out of control?
That the WHITE boy in Bontas car was the one who got this mess started?(Yes, I said "white boy" in the indians car... duh!!!!)
Or maybe the fact that the Bontas admitted that THEY were the ones who stalked the boys?
You are a yellow journalist. The supreme court already ruled you a fool. Stop proving them right!
#19 Jul 14, 2011
How Dare you Dee Cassell say anything about shane losing his parents. If you had known his parents then you would know that he is hispanic and not white. If you know anything about my daughter you would know that she is native american. But this is all irrelevant and none of you business. When the facebook archives are subpeoned for court.....the truth will come out. We have the report and the pics and more....we choose to remain silent.
#20 Jul 15, 2011
More for Winnemuccamomma:
On Thursday, July 14, Lisa Bonta posted on the Justice for Johnny Bonta and his Family Facebook group:
We have the lyon co sheriffs driving past our house 3-4 times daily. they claim that we have had threats made against us but wont elaborate. The FBI made some threats to my daughter today about ruining her nursing career if she doesnt wise up and tell them what they want to hear.
The FBI told my daughter that she was a liar and that they have researched her background and see that she graduated at 16 and attended TmCC for a short time. My daughter just graduated at 20 years old as a Med Assistant and plans to go to Nursing school. The FBI told her that it would be unfortunate for her to have a big black mark on her clean record for not cooperating with them.
When I questioned the FBI about who was investigating Lyon Co. Sherriffs they told me that internal affairs in Lyon Co would be doing that. I am calling the Justice Dept tommorrow because I feel this would be a biased investigation.
So while Lisa appears to be expressing some skepticism about the
investigators and their motivations, there is no sign that she, or anyone else, has "confessed" to anything.
The events leading up to the fight are in question. There seems to be near-universal agreement that Johnny Bonta was badly injured after the conflict. Even Dee Cassell, Jake Cassell's mother, said:
Cause they all agreed the EMT's needed to go check out the Bontas, even though blood was running down his face. He refused treatment.
Cause Jacob refused 1st aid, everyone thought the Bontas should be looked at 1st. That's where my familys heart comes from.
Yet Johnny Bonta was denied treatment for six days, even when tribal doctors tried to visit him. That is a serious breach of duty and a human rights violation by the Lyon County Sheriff's Department. Whatever his role in that May 24 fight, he had a right to necessary health care. This helps reinforce the impression that Lyon County law enforcement would embarrass Sheriff Joe Arpaio and, again, gives credence to the Bontas' claims.
If you would like to say anything more, feel free to pound your stubby little fingers on your keyboard. I'm always happy to answer intelligent questions and even happier to mock stupid ones.
#21 Jul 15, 2011
Alas, I have never been ruled a fool by the Supreme Court. Only lesser luminaries have spoken up - and in 20 years of online activity, I've been found guilty by some of the dimmest bulbs out there. Through it all I have remembered the sage advice of William Blake, who said "Listen to the fool's reproach! it is a kingly title!" In that spirit, I must thank winnemuccamomma for crowning me with her thoughts, spittle-flecked and ungrammatical though they are. May she be yet another in my collection of very dull gems.
I erred in identifying Leo Mayfield as Josh Janiszewski. I corrected that error on Topix and repeat that correction here. If I have made any other factual misstatements, please do bring them to my attention. I am not a journalist (yellow or otherwise), just a freelance nonfiction writer, but I will do my best to rectify my mistakes. In the meantime please make sure that any "half truths" you see involve a deficiency in my posting and not your wit.
If the fool's reproach is a kingly title, the fool's praise is a vile stain. Jake Cassell's family would do well to distance themselves from the people making remarks about "Injuns," "fire water" etc. As it stands, the Bonta claim that this was a race-related attack orchestrated by testosterone-charged thugs looks increasingly credible. It also makes Fernley look like a David Lynch remake of Dallas with meth labs taking the place of the oil industry. You can click on the link if you don't know who David Lynch is: I have no doubt you are already familiar with meth labs.
As far as hate crimes waiting to happen: threats against the people involved - or against their families, friends or random strangers of similar skin tone - are unacceptable in a civilized society. Anyone acting out like this should be punished harshly and I would gladly assist in their prosecution, no matter whose side they claim to represent.
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