- The Washington Times - Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Crimes committed by homeless persons in Los Angeles — along with the depravity of the attacks — are skyrocketing.

A local NBC affiliate’s “Streets of Shame” series tallied the numbers over the past two years while interviewing a victim who was recently covered in human waste.

“It was diarrhea. Hot liquid. I was soaked, and it was coming off my eyelashes and into my eyes,” victim Heidi Van Tassel said during an interview that aired Monday. “Paramedics who came to treat me said there was so much of it on me, that it looked like the man was saving it up for a month.”

The station said there were 6,528 homeless attacks in 2017, along with another 9,846 crimes reported in 2018.

“The numbers are on track to climb even higher this year,” reporter Joel Grover said for its televised reported. “We found case after case where the suspects suffer from mental illness or methamphetamine abuse.”

Court records show Ms. Van Tassel’s attacker identified as Jere Blessings.

The man, who suffers from schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders, was charged with battery and taken to jail.

“He doesn’t need jail time. He needs mental health care,” Ms. Van Tassel said. “I have empathy for him. Because he needs help.”

Ms. Van Tassel will be tested for infectious diseases every three months as a result of the attack near the Hollywood Walk of Fame, the station reported.

• Douglas Ernst can be reached at dernst@washingtontimes.com.

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