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Police seek suspect in 'evil' acid attack on homeless people

Police seek suspect in 'evil' acid attack on homeless people
Tents line a street near East 6th Street and South Central Avenue in September. Police are searching for a suspect who attacked two homeless people with acid at a park in Mission Hills. (Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times)

Los Angeles police are searching for whoever attacked a man and woman sleeping in a Mission Hills park with “some sort of an acid.”

The attack happened shortly after midnight Sunday in Devonwood Park, where the pair have been staying nightly for some time. The man awoke to a female companion screaming in pain and running from where they were sleeping, said LAPD Officer Tony Im.

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He saw burn marks on her face and arms and then realized his face also was burning, but to a lesser degree, Im said.

It is the third time in three weeks the pair has been accosted in their sleep at the same park, they told police. The first time, they said they were doused with gasoline and the second time with bleach.

It is unclear when the previous two incidents happened and whether the man and woman reported them, Im said.

The two were transported to a hospital, where both were treated and released. Officers found one of the victim’s backpack, which showed “some kind of chemical burns.”

“We want to find whoever is responsible for this evil act and make sure they’re taken off the street,” Im said.

Sunday’s incident is the latest attack on homeless people in Los Angeles. Last month, police arrested Ramon Escobar, who is suspected of killing four men and seriously injuring four others as they slept outside in L.A. and Santa Monica from Sept. 8-24.

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