Homeless Man Beaten, Seriously Injured In Escondido

ESCONDIDO – A group of assailants attacked a sleeping homeless man with a baseball bat near a Escondido flood-control channel Tuesday, gravely injuring him, a police lieutenant reported.
The assault took place alongside a bicycle path off East Valley Parkway shortly before 2 a.m., Lt. Bob Benton said. By the time patrol officers arrived in the area, the attackers had fled.
The victim, a transient in his 40s, was hospitalized for treatment of severe head injuries.
About a half-hour before the assault, a man arrived at Palomar Medical Center and told the hospital staff he had been attacked on the same bicycle path at around midnight by three to five young men, Benton said.
Philip Williams witnessed the attack along the flood control canal. He says the homeless often go to sleep there.
“For no reason, they were beating on the guy,” said Williams. “They were just trying to survive, day in day out.”
As he ran from the scene, Williams says he shouted for the attackers to stop.
“It was demonic — satanic — the way they were acting,” he explains.
Witnesses provided similar perpetrator descriptions — Latinos who appeared to be in their early 20s.
While investigating the first attack, officers detained four people, arresting two for curfew violations and outstanding warrants and citing the other two. It was unclear if any of the detainees were involved in the assaults.
The flood-control channel and bicycle path are closed to the public from dusk to dawn, and violators may be cited, Benton said.
This isn’t the first time there has been an unprovoked attack on a defenseless, homeless person. Last year, three Florida teens were convicted in a series of attacks on homeless men which were caught on tape. In those attacks, one man died.