SOUTH LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – Police have arrested 19-year-old Lenrey Briones for attempted murder after he was identified as the man who was riding his bicycle through South Los Angeles slashing pedestrians with a sharp object over the past several weeks.
Briones was taken into custody Wednesday afternoon after his parole officer recognized him as the man police were searching for.
He is accused of attacking at least nine people, in at least four different occasions over the past two weeks, while bicycling around South L.A. and South Gate.
“One lady had 20 sutures to her face,” LAPD Lt. Raul Jovel said at a Wednesday evening news conference. “These are life changing events and incidents.”
Police said Briones may have been using a box cutter in the attacks as he cut them without stopping his bike.
Briones lives in a transitional home and is on parole for arson. Police caught him Wednesday near a homeless camp at Wilmington Avenue and 109th Street. They found a bike in the area that they believe is the one he used on his violent rides.
The attacks happened as far east as Lynwood and as far south as Harbor City.
“Everyone was touched by this, I talked to gang members, I talked to parolees, I talked to homeless, I talked to countless everybody was on board with this because this guy was victimizing innocent people,” LAPD Det. Steve Garcia said.
The first attack was reported on March 20, with the latest two incidents occurring on Monday. All four victims sustained severe facial injuries.
According to Los Angeles police, at around 8:40 a.m. Monday, a man reported that he was standing on a sidewalk near a bus stop at Florence Avenue and Avalon Boulevard when the suspect rode by on a bike and slashed him in the face with an unknown weapon. The suspect then continued riding north on Avalon.
About 15 minutes later, police received a second call from a woman who was attacked at 59th Place and Avalon Boulevard in a similar fashion. She suffered a severe injury to the left side of her face and ear, police said.
At around 7:30 a.m. on March 20, a man was injured when a male bicyclist slashed his face while he stood at the intersection of 59th Street and Avalon Boulevard.
At about 11:09 a.m. on March 27, an attack occurred in South Gate in which a victim’s face was slashed, also sustaining severe injuries.