LA County dog attack: 1 dead at homeless encampment

A dog attack at a homeless encampment in Los Angeles County left a 43-year-old man dead and several others hurt.

Deputies from the Los Angeles County Sheriffs' Department's Lancaster Station responded just after 3:10 p.m. Tuesday to the desert area of 20th Street West north of Avenue G regarding a medical rescue call at a homeless encampment. Upon their arrival, they discovered several people had been attacked by a dog and at least two people suffering from injuries, one of whom was unresponsive lying on the ground, said Deputy Tracy Koerner of the Sheriff's Information Bureau.

The unresponsive man was taken to a nearby hospital where he was pronounced dead, Koerner said. The victim does not appear to have died as a result of being bitten by the dog and his cause of death will be determined at his autopsy.

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Sheriff's investigators learned a physical altercation had occurred between the deceased victim and another man outside a motor home in the encampment.  The second man's dog got loose from inside the motor home and attacked the victim and at least one more person trying to intervene.

The owner of the dog was detained and is cooperating with the investigation. The dog was removed from the scene by animal control and did not appear to have sustained any injuries, according to Koerner.

Anyone with information about the attack is asked to call the Sheriff's Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500. Anonymous tips can be called in to Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477 or submitted online at

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