Attack on Sleeping Woman Latest in Rising Violence Against Homeless

LAPD data shows assaults and murders of individuals experiencing homelessness are a significant factor in recent increase of street violence in the city.

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A seemingly random attack on a woman sleeping on a South Los Angeles sidewalk this week was recorded on security video, as one of the latest incidents of street violence in which those experiencing homelessness are often the victims.

LAPD detectives from the Newton Station released the video publicly with the hope that someone will recognize the attacker, whose face is partially blocked by clothing and obscured the camera angle and poor lighting.

The video shows the man standing on a sidewalk outside a closed business near 25th and San Pedro streets around midnight Tuesday, clutching a knife in his gloved right hand, then looking up and down the street, before the man was recorded walking towards the woman and stabbing her in the head.

The woman survived the attack and was said to be in critical condition Thursday.

LAPD Chief Michel Moore says gangs and related illegal drug sales have been the primary cause of a major increase in street violence in the last year, with issues related to homelessness being one of the other significant factors.

"We've seen an increase in retaliation and disputes involving persons experiencing homelessness," Moore told the LA Police Commission April 27, and said gang activity has begun to creep into some homeless encampments.

According to the I-Team's analysis of city crime data homeless victims have been listed in 13% of aggravated assaults with deadly weapons reported since Jan. 1, 2021, and 18% of murder victims. Combined, those experiencing homelessness are being victimized in violent crimes roughly 40 times each day, the statistics show.


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Anyone with information on the stabbing Tuesday was asked to call LAPD Newton detectives at  323-846-6566.

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