Paramedic recounts slashing that nearly cost her life

Oralandar Brand-Williams
The Detroit News
Michael Awan Montgomery is charged with stabbing emergency medical service worker Kelly Adams, seen here Monday in court.

With her chin hidden by a hospital-type mask, a Detroit EMS paramedic described a chaotic and dangerous scene the night she and her crew partner were slashed repeatedly and nearly lost their lives during a run in October.

Kelly Adams testified Monday during the preliminary examination for Michael Awan Montgomery, 30, of Detroit that he attacked her and Al Rojas with a box cutter, cutting their faces and hands, leaving long-lasting physical wounds, after he was told he couldn’t ride in an ambulance with the woman the paramedics had just treated.

“It seemed like forever,” Adams said Monday of the three- to four-minute attack. “He was swinging. Blood was going everywhere. It stunned me when he cut me.”

Adams, who was cut from her ear to her chin, said Montgomery was angry when told he couldn’t be in the ambulance with the woman, who was initially identified as his wife, to a nearby hospital for an ankle problem. It was later determined she didn’t need hospital treatment.

Adams said Montgomery became enraged and attacked Rojas first with his fist. He later pulled out a box cutter and cut Rojas with it and then her.

Adams was slashed across the face down to her chin area and Rojas was slashed on one of his hands and below an eye during the Oct. 20 incident outside a homeless shelter in the 3400 block of Third near Detroit’s Cass Corridor area.

Adams said she first yelled for Montgomery’s girlfriend to stop him and then got a step stool from the EMS rig and hit Montgomery in the shoulder and neck with it several times.

“It was like it didn’t faze him,” Adams said.

Montgomery, Adams said, fled from the scene as she called 911 to report a “Code 1000.”

“That means we’re in trouble. We’re going to die,” she testified. “We’re getting our butts whipped.”

Adams said she and Rojas were able to make it to Detroit Receiving Hospital as she held one of his hands and her face, both bleeding profusely.

“He was driving with one hand,” Adams said.

“I had arteries cut in my face and he had arteries cut in his hand and we both had lost a substantial amount of blood,” Adams said.

In describing the incident right after it happened, police say the pair nearly “bled out” from their injuries.

Adams added her recovery will be lengthy saying she had to have her facial nerves put back together, the muscles in her face reconstructed and the saliva gland, which is detached, in her face drained twice a month. She has had surgery in her eye because she’s had “complete paralysis” on the left side of her face causing her eye to remain open.

Rojas did not take the stand.

Montgomery will stand trial on the charges of attacking Adams and Rojas. He is charged with two counts of assault with intent to murder and one count of assault with intent to do great bodily harm.

Montgomery also had a preliminary examination in the 2006 sexual assault and homicide of a 16-year-old girl in an alley near Evergreen and Joy.

In that case, 25-year-old Kelly Johnson testified about seeing a man fitting Montgomery’s description with a young female in an alley on Dec. 30, 2005, as she made her way to a dollar store in the neighborhood.

Johnson said the man was holding his hand over the female’s mouth and she appeared frightened. On Jan. 1, 2006, the body of 16-year-old Dantoya White of Detroit, was found dead. She had been raped and stabbed repeatedly in the neck.

Prosecutors say Montgomery’s DNA matched evidence found on the teen.

Montgomery was bound over in the girl’s rape and murder. His defense attorney, Wyatt Harris, said “there was not enough evidence my client committed a homicide.”

The preliminary for a 2005 rape Montgomery is suspected of is scheduled for 11 a.m. Tuesday before 36th District Court Judge Lydia Nance Adams. In that case, Montgomery could face trial on two counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct, kidnapping, torture and felony firearm in connection with the Dec. 23, 2005, kidnapping of a 33-year-old Detroit woman in an alley behind the 8600 block of Auburn. He allegedly allegedly tortured and sexually assaulted the woman.

Police had taken Montgomery’s DNA from the earlier crimes but they did not know to whom it belonged.

“He’s been flying under the radar,” Assistant Detroit Police Chief Steven Dolunt said in November about the case.

Adams said she had seen Montgomery in the area before and he was “always combative” when they saw him.

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