An unidentified man is currently in critical condition after having fallen victim to a vicious machete attack probably aimed at stealing his bicycle. The attack occurred early Sunday morning while he was riding his bike in Westlake, Los Angeles.
Though, according to the initial report of the police, the victim was 18 years old, we later learned that he was 43 and his condition was still deemed critical as of Sunday evening.
Los Angeles police reported that they were currently looking for four suspects who allegedly attacked the biker nearby the intersection of 11th Street and Burlington Avenue. However, the police only said that the suspects were young and male, while one of them was carrying a machete when the attack occurred around 12:35 a.m.
Witnesses said that the four men approached the bicyclist on foot but they drove off after the encounter in a vehicle. According to the police, the victim’s skull was fractured and his thumb was severed after the armed aggressor hit him with the machete on the head and hands.
Paramedics said that he had lost a lot of blood before they manage to reach him.
“The victim suffered lacerations to the right hand and a severed thumb from the left hand,”
reported Officer Stacey Vandersall from the Los Angeles Police Department.
People who witnessed the grisly attack said they called 911 after they had heard the man scream. Witnesses told the police that they saw the four men taking the bicycle, and fleeing in a dark-green car.
The wounded man was taken quickly to the nearest hospital. Doctors said that he had moderate to major injuries but he might survive. However, his right hand may be beyond recovery, doctors added.
As Westlake is known as a poor and mostly Latino neighborhood in Los Angles, the LAPD believe that the attack was gang-related. According to six-month statistics, in the neighborhood there were 473 violent crimes and 1,083 property crimes with a 132.1 rate of crimes per 10,000 residents, which is higher than in nearby neighborhoods.
About 46.5 percent of violent crimes represented aggravated assault, while 47.8 percent were robberies. Most cases of property crimes in Westlake were theft (36.8 percent) and theft from vehicle (36.5 percent).
Usually, residents of poor neighborhoods steal bikes to sell them and buy drugs or alcohol. But in this latest case, it is still unclear whether the attack was a robbery, or an aggravated assault. The LAPD investigators declined to provide more details.
Image Source: KTLA