Police Wednesday detained a 19-year-old homeless man suspected of slashing at least nine people who were attacked by a bicyclist who struck while riding past them in the South Los Angeles area.
Lenrey Briones was detained about 1:45 p.m. in the 10900 block of Wilmington Avenue in Watts, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.
“This suspect has been terrorizing the cities of Los Angeles and South Gate for the last several months,” LAPD Capt. Dan Randolph alleged at an early evening news conference at the department’s Newton Station.
Investigators were still in the preliminary stages of investigative follow-up, Randolph said.
“What I can tell you is we have probable cause to arrest the suspect for attempt murder,” Randolph said.
Some of the victims suffered “significant cuttings” in what Newton Station Lt. Raul Jovell called “life-changing events and incidents.”
One woman needed 20 stitches to treat her injury and a 13-year-old boy was cut in an attack on Monday, according to Jovell, who said investigators are “99.9 percent certain that we have this gentleman in custody that’s responsible” for the attacks.
Tips from the probation department helped investigators identify and locate Briones, police said.
Two of the attacks occurred Monday in the Florence section of South Los Angeles, the first about 8:40 a.m. near Florence Avenue and Avalon Boulevard, police said.
“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.”
About 15 minutes later, a woman was slashed in the face near Avalon Boulevard and 59th Place.
“The victim reported that a male suspect on a bicycle slashed her face with an unknown object as he rode past her, causing severe injury to the left side of her face and ear,” the LAPD reported.
A man was slashed in the face by a man on a bicycle near Avalon Boulevard and 59th Street about 7:30 a.m. March 20.
A person was severely injured when slashed in the face in South Gate about 11 a.m. on March 27.
Details about the other attacks were not immediately available.