Homeless Man Arrested Over Bike-Riding Slasher Attacks in Los Angeles

Reuters
By Reuters
April 4, 2019USshare
Homeless Man Arrested Over Bike-Riding Slasher Attacks in Los Angeles
The man suspected of slashing the faces of nine people in Los Angeles. (Los Angeles Police Department)

LOS ANGELES—Los Angeles police arrested a 19-year-old homeless man on Wednesday, April 3, on suspicion he is the “slasher” who has cut the faces of at least nine people, seemingly at random, as he rode through the city on a bicycle, police said.

Police said the man was detained on suspicion of attempted murder.

A spokesman for the Los Angeles police was not immediately available to discuss the case late Wednesday and the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, which runs the jail, had no information.

NTD Photo
The man suspected of slashing the faces of nine people in Los Angeles. (Los Angeles Police Department)

Police released images and a surveillance video of the man they believe to have been the slasher on Tuesday in an appeal to the public to help find him.

Investigators said it was not clear what prompted the attacks across south Los Angeles and surrounding communities.

Police say the assailant used an unknown type of “edged weapon” and was last seen on a black and green mountain bike.

“For no reason at all, he would strike the victims across the face holding something sharp in his hand. Then he would ride away,” Lieutenant Paul Patterson of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department told the Los Angeles Times.

Bicycle slasher suspect
The man suspected of slashing the faces of nine people in Los Angeles. (Los Angeles Police Department)

The latest two attacks took place on Monday, the LAPD said in a statement, when officers responding to a radio call around 8:40 p.m. found a man suffering from a severe wound to the left side of his face.

About 15 minutes later, a young woman was slashed nearby.

“He just came in back of me and hit me,” Stefany Coboz told local KNBC-TV, displaying a stitched and bandaged wound in her neck that she said would leave permanent scarring. “I just started looking at him, he looked back, I grabbed myself full of blood.”

Coboz said her assailant did not speak to her but laughed as he rode away.

NTD Photo
An unknown suspect, last seen riding a black and green mountain bike, who LAPD say is responsible for slashing victims as he rode his bicycle in Los Angeles in a photo released on April 3, 2019. (Los Angeles Police Department/Handout via Reuters)

The victims were transported and treated in a nearby hospital. The injuries were characterized as severe but all the victims survived.

The string of attacks began on March 20, when a male victim was severely injured by the slasher around 7:30 p.m., according to the Los Angeles Police Department.

A second victim suffered a cut to the face shortly after 11 a.m. on March 27 in the Los Angeles suburb of South Gate, according to police officials.

The victims ranged in age from 13 to 85 years old, police reported, and the suspect struck in broad daylight.

It was unclear Wednesday if the man had an attorney.

By Dan Whitcomb

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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