Police in Los Angeles believe they've caught the man responsible for slashing several strangers in the face with a bladed object while riding past them on a bicycle.
Lenrey Briones, 19, was detained Thursday on suspicion of attempted murder after an eighth and ninth attack occurred Monday. Police had been hunting for a suspect for days before Briones was taken in by law enforcement officials. They were able to track him down in a homeless encampment after a parole officer recognized him from surveillance footage of the incidents was released by police on Tuesday.
At a press conference on Wednesday night, Capt. Dan Randolph said that "The suspect instilled fear in this community," according to CBS News.
In the most recent attack, police responded to a call about a man who had suffered a severe facial injury at around 8:40 p.m. on Monday.
"The victim was standing on the sidewalk near the bus stop," according to a police statement. "The unknown suspect approached the victim on his bicycle and slashed at the victim as he rode past him with an unknown-type edged weapon, causing severe injury to his face."
Only 15 minutes later, police received a second call, this time about a woman, Stefany Coboz, who had incurred a similar wound. She claims the assailant laughed as he rode away.
"You never know, he could kill someone ... He just came in back of me and hit me,” Coboz told NBC Los Angeles. “I just started looking at him, he looked back. I grabbed myself full of blood.”
Briones' first two alleged attacks occurred on March 20 at around 7:30 a.m. in south Los Angeles. Another attack occurred a week later at 11 a.m. in the South Gate area. The victims sustained severe injuries to the face.
The suspect was described by police as Hispanic, about 18 to 30 years old, 5- foot-6 to 5-foot-8 and weighing about 150 pounds, with short hair.
The victims, who police believe were chosen at random, ranged in age from 18 to 35 years old, according to Reuters.
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