A homeless man allegedly poured a bucket of diarrhea on a woman’s head in a seemingly random and unprovoked attack in L.A., Los Angeles’ KNBC-TV reports. The attack happened months ago, but the victim is sharing her story with the media because the man is once again back on the streets, and the victim believes he hasn’t gotten the help he needs.
Heidi Van Tassel says that, on the night of the attack, she had supper with her friends at a Thai restaurant not far from the Hollywood Walk of Fame. She said that, out of nowhere, a homeless man, later identified as Jere Blessings, ran toward her car, pulled her out, and poured a bucket of hot diarrhea all over her.
“It was diarrhea. Hot liquid. I was soaked, and it was coming off my eyelashes and into my eyes. It was all inside my car because it was so much. He just kept pouring it and splattering it all over me,” she said.
She said that paramedics who treated her said there was so many feces all over her that they believed the assailant had been saving it up for months.
Van Tassel said that she doesn’t appear to have had any lasting physical injuries or illnesses from the attack, though she was tested for infectious diseases caused by feces and will have to be re-tested every three months. However, she says the post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) from the assault is “beyond anything that I’ve ever felt.”
Making matters worse for Van Tassel, she says that the response she got from the LAPD was less than understanding. After being told that the crime would be investigated, she says she never heard from them again. She was promised a phone call from a victim’s advocate, a call which she says never came. She also claims she was never allowed to see security footage of the incident.
Van Tassel says that she feels no ill will toward the man who attacked her, saying that he needs help.
“He doesn’t need jail time. He needs mental health care,” Van Tassel said.
Blessings, who was diagnosed with “schizophrenia and psychotic disorders,” actually did spend two months in a psychiatric care facility, only to be released in August. According to the Los Angeles City Attorney’s office, Blessings is back “in the community,” and Van Tassel is worried that his inner demons may compel him to attack someone again.
“What’s the next thing he’s going to do somebody?” she asked.