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Men accused of attacks on strangers with belt, car in West Hollywood

Two men were in custody Thursday after a bizarre assault in West Hollywood that authorities say began when one of them allegedly took off his belt and hit two women who laughed at him.

After hitting the women, Los Angeles County sheriff's officials said, the man got into a waiting car that then intentionally drove into a man and a woman, injuring one critically, sheriff's officials said.

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Sheriff's officials identified the men Thursday afternoon as Hector Hernandez, 29, of Whittier, and Joseph Osuna, 23, of Bakersfield.

Osuna, who is accused of hitting the women with the belt, was booked on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon. Hernandez was booked on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon and driving under the influence.

The incident began about 2:10 a.m. on Robertson Boulevard, where sheriff's Sgt. John Mitchell said a group of women were laughing at a man "who appeared to be extremely intoxicated." The man, Mitchell said, then took off his belt "started hitting them with it."

At some point, the man ran to a friend's car parked on El Tovar Place, near the back of the West Hollywood library, Mitchell said. The friend, who was driving, took off.

The car then veered into the man and woman.

Witnesses called 911 and deputies apprehended the men at Genesee Avenue, about two miles away, according to authorities.

The woman remained hospitalized in critical condition Thursday afternoon; the man had been treated and released.

The women hit with the belt suffered non-life threatening injuries, sheriff's officials said. One was treated at the scene; the other taken to a hospital.

The investigation remained ongoing Thursday and prosecutors have yet to file charges, Mitchell said.

Follow @katemather for more crime news from across Southern California.

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