STUDIO CITY (CBSLA) — It was a heart-stopping moment for a local grandfather out on a morning walk in Studio City.
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Kristina Wilson says her dad Leonardo DiPierre was walking on Whitsett Avenue near Ventura Blvd. when he quickly realized he wasn’t alone.
“He passed a homeless man, said ‘Good morning’, and the homeless man said ‘God bless you’ to him,” said Wilson.
DiPierre started to walk faster — and so did the man following him.
But when DiPierre walked toward a nearby Christian Science Church parking lot, Wilson says he was attacked.
“The guy just went in and put his arms around him and started hitting him on his sides and pushed him off,” she said.READ MORE: Cold Weather Alert Issued For Lancaster Area
It was at that moment DiPierre realized he had been stabbed.
“By the grace of God, don’t know why, the man took off but he stabbed him twice, one in the back one in the side,” said Wilson. “He thought in his head, ‘What am I going to do right now, he’s going to kill me! He’s got a knife and he’s homeless’.”
DiPierre was rushed to a hospital where he is recovering, but the attack is alarming to his family, the community, and detectives because it was random and unprovoked.
Within hours, police arrested 21-year-old transient Samuel Magana on suspicion of attempted murder. Detectives say was on drugs, suffers from mental illness and was on parole for another violent crime.
While the family acknowledges the challenges posed by homeless rates that continue to climb in this neighborhood and all over the city, the family says something must be done.MORE NEWS: Police Offer Rewards For Information Leading To Arrests In Rash Of Jefferson Park Hit-And-Runs
“I don’t know what the right thing is to do,” Wilson said. “I don’t know but something gotta change.”