Two homeless men were arrested for allegedly attacking a vacationing family at a beach in Malibu, California, and leaving the father with gruesome injuries last week.
One of the suspects, identified as Richard Franck, was charged with attempted murder and assault with a deadly weapon, Fox 11 of Los Angeles reported. Another homeless man who was with Franck during the alleged incident, Benjamin Mast, was charged with accessory to attempted murder.
A family from out of town – three adults and two children – was eating lunch on Dan Blocker Beach in Malibu Sunday when Franck and Mast allegedly approached them and falsely told them they "were not allowed" to be there, according to an official statement from the Lost Hills Sheriff's Station.
This led to a verbal altercation, and Franck allegedly pulled out a machete and started hacking at the unidentified father, slashing the victim multiple times in the upper torso and hand. Franck and Mast then allegedly chased the family of five from the beach back to a parking lot near the Pacific Coast Highway.
The injured father was taken to a hospital and was reportedly in stable condition, the sheriff's station reported.
The alleged attack left him with a cut tongue, a lost eye and cuts to his nose, ear and lip, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office.
Police later arrested the two homeless men after they tried to barricade themselves in a public restroom near the parking lot.
"Through different statements from the suspect and the accomplice, the weapon was located stashed in some bushes down by the beach," LASD Lt. Jim Braden told the Malibu Times.
Both suspects were described as "transients" in their mid-30s. No further description was provided.
Franck allegedly previously threatened a sheriff's deputy in April with a knife, County Sheriff Alex Villanueva said in a tweet. Franck was arrested at the time but was released four days later since the office of liberal L.A. County District Attorney George Gascon had filed only a misdemeanor charge.
Gascon has drawn heavy criticism from crime victims and those in law enforcement for methods that they deemed as being soft on crime. However, the district attorney responded that some criminal justice practices have treated suspects unfairly.
Community members held a meeting late Thursday to address public safety concerns amid the homelessness crisis in Malibu and the rising reports of crimes and fires in the area.
Mayor Paul Grisanti said in a statement provided by the City of Malibu that he was shocked by the "vicious, unprovoked attack" on the visiting family.
"We were shocked to hear of this vicious, unprovoked attack on innocent visitors who came to Malibu for a peaceful day of fishing at one of our local beaches, and we send our thoughts and best wishes for a full recovery to the victims and their families," his statement read. "On behalf of the city council, I want to thank our local sheriff's deputies for their quick response to remove the suspects before they could harm anyone else."