Man held for Los Angeles area homeless stabbings
Police have arrested a man over the stabbings of three homeless people in the Los Angeles area, who they say goes by a name signed on “death warrants” found with the wounded victims.
Courtney Robinson, 38, called an emergency dispatcher on Friday and said it was his face being distributed on flyers around the city, Commander Andrew Smith said.
Officers found Robinson inside a fast food restaurant in Hollywood and took him into custody without incident. He is in custody charged with attempted murder.
Police previously described him as a possibly homeless man from Santa Barbara who also goes by David Ben Keyes, a name written on notes left at all three stabbing scenes that the writer called "death warrants". Robinson admitted signing the notes, Mr Smith said.
One victim in Santa Monica and two in Los Angeles were stabbed in the back as they slept. The first stabbing occurred on July 3 in central Los Angeles, the only incident where a witness saw a suspect fleeing.
The second, on Tuesday, targeted a man as he slept on a bus bench in Santa Monica. The most recent was on Thursday, when a woman was stabbed in Hollywood.
The three victims, all in their 50s, survived.
Mr Smith said investigators believe Robinson may also be connected to the unsolved stabbings of two homeless men in Santa Barbara.
Detectives described him as lucid and able to converse, but with possible "mental health issues", Mr Smith said.
Earlier police and charities had urged homeless people to seek safety in shelters as news spread of an at-large serial stabber. But they faced the challenge that many street dwellers like being alone because they feel it is less risky or simply because they cannot cope with people due to mental illness.
With robberies, assaults or even rapes frequently occurring on the streets and in shelters, many homeless people have found that survival comes down to finding places where no-one can see them.
But advocates for the homeless say that is also what makes them easy marks for criminals looking for victims in general or homeless people specifically.
"People on the street know it's dangerous, but many people want to be on their own," said Herb Smith, president and chief executive of the Los Angeles Mission in Skid Row
"They're not socialised. It's part of their condition."
- 1 'He was lucky he didn't die' - George Michael fell out of speeding car onto M1 motorway, according to eye witness
- 2 Gay couple beaten in park urge MPs to moderate language on gay marriage
- 3 After woman sells virginity for $780,000, here are the results of our prostitution survey
BMF is the UK’s biggest and best loved outdoor fitness classes
Win anything from gadgets to five-star holidays on our competitions and offers page.
Excellent Salary Package - £60K to £120K: Austen Lloyd: We have an exciting op...
£200 - £250 per day: Progressive Recruitment: Java Developer - Urgent Requirem...
£70000 - £95000 per annum + Bonus, flexible working hours, remote work: Progre...
£50000 - £56000 per annum + Benefits package, flexible working hours: Progress...