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“When I got to the hospital, I coded, I died,” Chris Anguiano testified at the Vista Courthouse on Wednesday, January 26. Before he lost his vision and motor skills, he had worked at Palomar Hospital as a certified nursing assistant. A former Border Patrol agent is accused of attacking Anguiano and his girlfriend with a hatchet in the early morning hours of July 9, 2009.

Chris Anguiano said he was awakened in his bed by his girlfriend’s barking dog and that he was chopped with a hatchet multiple times before he could struggle out of bed in the darkness. Another man in the rented Escondido home reportedly disarmed the assailant before Anguiano was rushed to the same hospital where he worked. (Anguiano’s girlfriend suffered axe strikes to her legs and feet.)

Dr. David Cloyd testified that Chris Anguiano’s heart stopped about 20 minutes after his arrival. “We had a full cardiac arrest.... We restarted his heart.” Cloyd said he believed the brief death was caused by blood loss.

Gamalier Reyes Rivera, 34, is being tried for attempted murder, mayhem, assault, and other charges. The prosecutor said Rivera intended to attack his estranged wife (who had sought a restraining order) and her lover, who were sleeping in a room down the hall.

The jury of eight men and four women is expected to hear closing arguments on Tuesday, February 1, in the Vista Courthouse. Deliberations begin the same day.

Pictured: Chris Anguiano

Photo credit: Nick Morris

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Dorian Hargrove Jan. 28, 2011 @ 11:03 a.m.

I met Chris in rehab. The first time we talked he was in his wheelchair, unable to see me from across the table. He told me to stay positive, focus on my recovery, and things will get better. It's something that I will never forget. Such an amazing person. Stay strong, Chris, and thanks.


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