Investigators search for man in 'hammer-like weapon' attacks

- Sheriff's investigators released a composite drawing of a suspect today in hopes that someone will recognize the man who used a hammer-like weapon to seriously injure two people in separate unprovoked attacks within a few blocks and hours of another in East Los Angeles.

Both assaults happened March 25, according to Deputy Juanita Navarro-Suarez.

The first attack came in the 1400 block of South Bonnie Beach Place and the second in the 4400 block of Triggs Street, according to Detective Ed Sanchez of the sheriff's East Los Angeles Station.

In the first attack, the suspect -- who appeared to be in his mid-40s -- approached a man Sanchez described as "elderly" and without provocation struck him with "a hammer-like weapon."

"When the victim fell to the ground, the suspect kicked the victim," Sanchez said.

The suspect fled south from the location and out of view. A few hours later and less than three block away from the first crime scene, a woman standing in front of a home was similarly attacked by a man
wielding a hammer-like weapon, according to Sanchez.

The woman was struck several times "about the head" and knocked unconscious, Sanchez said.

Both victims were taken to hospitals, where they were admitted in serious condition, Sanchez said.

Sanchez said the same person is suspected of committing both crimes, though the descriptions provided to investigators varied slightly.

The suspect was described as a heavyset Hispanic man, 5 feet 10 inches to 6 feet tall, with a goatee. He's believed to be about 40 to 45 years old and weighs between 200 and 240 pounds.

He last was seen wearing a straw hat, blue windbreaker-type jacket, sunglasses, brown cargo shorts and white shoes, Navarro-Suarez said.

Anyone with information about the attacks was urged to call the sheriff's East Los Angeles Station at (323) 264-4151 or 911.

Tipsters can also call Crime Stoppers by calling (800) 222-TIPS.

All tips can be made anonymously.

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