San Diego, CA – A woman was burned with sulfuric acid in what police officers are considering a random attack. Arturo Jose Reyes, 55, was arrested for causing a disturbance at a San Diego gas station after allegedly throwing the flesh-burning chemical onto a female bystander. The accused attacker fled after soaking the stranger’s face, arms, and back with the caustic acid, NBC Channel 7 News reports. Reyes reportedly fled from the Golden Hill area crime scene in a blue BMW.
Hazardous materials officials positively identified the chemical thrown on the victim as sulfuric acid. Hazmat crews had to decontaminate the crime scene after the woman was transported to a local hospital for treatment of her severe burns.
The attack occurred on Saturday morning, the suspect was apprehended a short time later when he reportedly caused problems at a gas station. The female victim was on her way into a laundry mat when she says man approached and doused her with the caustic chemical that caused second degree burns. San Diego law enforcement officers are still unsure why the suspect targeted the victim, the New York Daily News reports.
The hospitalized California woman told police officers that she did not know Reyes. The accused attacker was booked on charges of assault with a caustic chemical, vandalism, being under the influence of a controlled substance, and aggravated mayhem.
Aggravated mayhem charges are typically levied in the state when an individual intentionally causes the disfigurement or permanent disability of another person or exhibits an extreme indifference to the well-being of the victim.