Man fatally stabbed while panhandling in Van Nuys, police say

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A man was fatally stabbed while he was panhandling in Van Nuys early Tuesday, possibly by a motorist, police said.

Police believe the man, who hasn’t been identified, may have been a transient because he was seen walking up to cars and asking drivers for money the night before.

The man had approached a police sergeant’s vehicle Monday night at the intersection of Woodley Avenue and Vanowen Street. The sergeant told him to stay out of the road and move to the sidewalk, LAPD Capt. Paul Vernon said. Witnesses told KNBC-TV the man was asking for food and money.


Then at about 1 a.m., police received reports from bystanders who saw the bloodied man stagger and collapse on a sidewalk just a few feet from the intersection.

The man had been stabbed in the chest, Vernon said. He was taken to a hospital where he died.

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After following the trail of blood at the scene, police determined the man was probably stabbed by someone in a vehicle, Vernon said.

Detectives have collected surveillance video footage from nearby businesses that they hope will help them identify a suspect, he said.

The man’s death was the eighth homicide in the last 12 months in Van Nuys, according to The Times Homicide Report.


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