LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Los Angeles police arrested a 19-year-old man on Wednesday 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. CBS News and other media reported that police tracked him down to a homeless encampment after his parole officer recognized him from security camera images published in the media.
A spokesman for the Los Angeles police was not immediately available for comment early on Thursday.
The string of attacks began on March 20, according to the LAPD, with victims aged from 13 to 85 years old. The suspect struck in broad daylight.
The latest two attacks occurred on Monday when officers responding to a radio call at 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 attacked 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.
Reporting by Dan Whitcomb; additional reporting by Rich McKay; Editing by Peter Cooney, Michael Perry and Raissa Kasolowsky