Man Arrested For Poisoning Homeless People And Recording Their Reactions
A man has been arrested for allegedly feeding eight homeless people with poisoned food in a string of attacks which he recorded for his own enjoyment.
William Robert Cable, 38, a handyman from the northern California town of San Andreas, had tricked his victims into ingesting oleoresin capsicum, a chemical compound from which the active ingredient in pepper spray is extracted, prosecutors said.
The victims, all in the coastal town of Huntington Beach, south of Los Angeles, were unaware the food had been tampered with, while several were given other food and beer to entice them to eat the tainted offerings. Some were told they were participating in a “spicy food challenge” as part of the ruse, The New York Times reported.
District Attorney Todd Spitzer said in a statement:
“These human beings were preyed upon because they are vulnerable. They were exploited and poisoned as part of a twisted form of entertainment, and their pain was recorded so that it could be relived by their attacker over and over again.”
The victims survived but suffered a variety of severe reactions, including convulsions, breathing difficulty, vomiting, and intense mouth and stomach pain, according to the district attorney’s office. Several required hospitalization.
The attacks spanned a little more than a week beginning in mid-May.
The mayor of Huntington Beach, Lyn Semeta, expressed outrage over the disturbing attack, saying, “The cruel nature of these crimes shocks the conscience.”
Cable was taken into custody on May 22 and has since been jailed on $500,000 bond as police continue their investigation, the Orange County district attorney’s office said in a statement.
He was charged with eight counts of felony poisoning, one count of elder abuse and eight misdemeanour counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
If convicted, Cable faces up to 19 years in prison.