Police investigating former neighbor in acid attack

A former neighbor is being investigated as a suspect in a June 3 acid attack on a couple living in the 400 block of Cypress Drive, according to Laguna Beach police.

The former neighbor has been interviewed but not arrested, Sgt. Louise Callus said.

A hazardous material crew came to the scene after police were called by a female resident who reported that a man wearing a ski mask threw a rock through her living room window. Her husband went to chase him, but the masked man got away.

The suspect also spray-painted on their garage door, "Stalk Someone Else."

Police confirmed Monday that the suspect threw a bottle of butyric acid through the window. Later, as the couple gave their statement to the responding officer, all three began to feel sick.

Their symptoms included tearing and sore throats. They all underwent decontamination.

Authorities found what appeared to be an electronic device attached to the rock. After evaluation, the bomb squad determined it was not an explosive device. Police did not publicly identify what type of device it was.

The couple told police that they experienced a similar incident in January. An unknown suspect entered their garage and poured a chemical, which emitted a similar odor, on a stack of papers. They had no evidence from that incident to identify a suspect.

The spray cans from last Friday's attack were found nearby and were taken as evidence. It will take four to six weeks of analysis to derive prints or DNA from the cans.

All five units of the building and the building next door were evacuated.

Anyone with information is advised to call police at (949) 497-0389.

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