Homeless Man Brutally Attacked in Ventura By 5 Teens

His name was John Stephen Wood. The 46-year-old was a fixture at the Ventura county pier. Police say he was on the top floor of the public parking structure at the pier last night at about 8. He was approached by 5 male Hispanic teens, one off which asked Wood for a lighter. At that point, say investigators, the teens began to beat him with a bat.

As the victim tried to run, they followed him down the stairs, stabbing him multiple times.

Wood collapsed at the bottom floor, which faces the popular promenade. Someone called 911, as the teens fled,

The incident is the second in three weeks where a homeless person is targeted. January 20th another homeless man, identified as John Fraizer. The 58-year-old was doused with lighter fluid and set on fire. He remains hospitalized in stable condition.

As for Wood, he is expected to make it. Investigators say they don't think the incidents are related. In both cases, young Hispanic males are suspects, but investigators say this latest incident was just a crime of opportunity and random. They insist they don't believe there is someone targeting homeless people in the area.

There are over 1700 homeless people in Ventura, according to the 2013 county figures. Local shelter officials say homeless are always targets, and groups of young men do tend to harass them.

Anyone with information about the incidents is asked to call Ventura PD at (805)339-4416.

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