Californians are struggling to deal with the state’s homeless problems, but one Los Angeles woman’s story of a transient man’s decision to douse her in excrement puts the issue in a disturbing light.
Heidi Van Tassel has been left severely traumatized after a homeless man threw a bucket of hot diarrhea on her face. Yes, literal diarrhea. Excuse me while I go throw up.
The incident started when Heidi was getting into her car after going out for Thai food near the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Los Angeles. Out of nowhere, a homeless man sprinted towards her from the middle of the street. He pulled her out of the vehicle, quickly dumping a bucket of feces on her head. How exactly he managed to get it hot? No one knows.
“It was diarrhea. Hot liquid. I was soaked, and it was coming off my eyelashes and into my eyes,” Heidi told reporters. “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.”
She added: “It was all inside my car because it was so much. He just kept pouring it and splattering it all over me.” Heidi was tested for infectious diseases after the attack and she’ll be retested every three months, NBC4 noted.
Heidi claimed the incident has also left her with PTSD. She said the amount of PTSD she is dealing with is beyond anything that she’s ever felt, which is why there needs to be some kind of help for the victims of these crimes.
Thankfully, Heidi might get some justice. The homeless attacker was identified as Jere Blessings. He was charged with battery by the Los Angeles Police Department. The homeless man reportedly suffered from mental health conditions including schizophrenia and a psychotic disorder. He was sent to a residential facility for people with mental health conditions. He was released in August.
Heidi‘s story highlights a growing epidemic in major cities across the country. LA Police Department data shows homelessness and crime carried out by people living on city streets have skyrocketed in recent years.
In 2019, police recorded more than 2,400 arrests of homeless people on assault charges.
The attack has left Heidi shaken. She said she is afraid to go into public for fear of coming face to face with her attacker again.
“I will never, ever, forget his face,” she said. “What’s the next thing he’s going to do [to] somebody? If he would’ve had a knife, for sure he would’ve stabbed me.”
Watch the video report below for more details: