With the number of homeless in Los Angeles surging 16% in a single year — the total number now surpassing 36,000 in the city and 59,000 in the county — the homeless crisis in Los Angeles is reaching a boiling point. Along with the health threat posed by the proliferation of disease and sickness in the homeless camps, the problem poses an immediate physical threat to citizens, as demonstrated Tuesday afternoon when a 63-year-old woman was violently attacked by a homeless man. The woman is in critical condition.
The attack, which police say appears to have been random, occurred just before 2 p.m. near the 1400 block of N. San Fernando Boulevard, CBS Los Angeles reports. A woman, who reportedly works in an office building nearby, was brutally attacked by a homeless man, who jumped out from behind bushes and began to hit and kick her repeatedly.
The 63-year-old woman, whose identity has not been released, was found suffering a serious head injury in an alleyway behind an office building. She has been taken to the hospital and is currently in critical condition.
Authorities have identified the suspect as Hector Manuel Ulloa, 51, who they say was on parole for assault when he attacked the woman.
Police, who have security video footage of the alleged assault, say Ulloa was hiding behind bushes, apparently waiting for the victim to walk by. When she passed the bushes, he erupted in violence on the unsuspecting woman.
“Witnesses at the scene told police they heard screams and saw Ulloa kicking and punching the victim numerous times,” CBS reports.
“He jumped out and kind of like punched her in the head, and that kind of took her down,” one witness told CBS. “Then he started punching her in the head and kicking her multiple times — maybe 10 to 20 times — and she was screaming for help.” The witness expressed shock at the brutal attack, saying he “really didn’t expect anything like this to happen.”
Ulloa has been booked for attempted murder and is being held without bail as he awaits formal charges by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office, CBS reports.
As The Daily Wire reported last week, the homeless situation in Los Angeles has begun to gain national attention amid a series of reports detailing the severity of the problem. One of those reports, produced by KOMO News, highlights the threat posed by the diseases and sickness festering in the increasing number of homeless camps. The situation in “Skid Row,” where thousands of homeless line the streets, “has been in L.A. for a long time,” KOMO reports, “but not like this. Never like this.”
“People get beaten, women get raped. It’s just a brutal environment,” Andy Bales, CEO of the Union Rescue Mission, told KOMO. Along with the 1,000 or so sex offenders currently on the streets, said Bales, the homeless camps are “like a petri dish for disease.”
Bales, whose organization attempts to help the homeless in the area, contracted staph, E. coli and strep while serving the homeless population. As KOMO notes, Bales lost his leg as a result of an infection he contracted during his humanitarian work in the area.
Related: WATCH: How Dangerous Is The L.A. Homeless Problem? This Dangerous.