A Los Angeles woman is sharing her story of one of the most horrific attacks imaginable. Heidi Van Tassel told NBC’s Los Angeles affiliate of a night this summer in which a homeless man dragged her from her car and poured a bucket of wet faeces over her in the middle of Hollywood Boulevard.
“It was diarrhoea. Hot liquid. I was soaked, and it was coming off my eyelashes and into my eyes,” Van Tassel described. “Paramedics who came to treat me said there was so much of it on me, that it looked like the man was saving it up for a month.”
She said that the excrement coated her and tracked into her car.
“It was all inside my car because it was so much. He just kept pouring it and splattering it all over me,” she said.
Van Tassel was taken to a nearby hospital and tested for potential infectious diseases she might have contracted. NBC points out that she’ll have to be retested every three months for the foreseeable future.
Van Tassel added that authorities offered to put her in touch with a victim’s advocate, but she never heard from anyone.
“It’s so traumatic. The PTSD that I’m dealing with is beyond anything that I’ve ever felt,” Van Tassel said. “There needs to be some kind of help for the victims of these crimes.”
In spite of all this, Van Tassel wants help for her attacker. Jere Blessings was charged with battery and, after a two-month stint in a mental health facility, he was released. Blessings has a history of schizophrenia and Van Tassel hopes he finds the help he needs.
“He doesn’t need jail time. He needs mental health care,” Van Tassel said. “I have empathy for him. Because he needs help.”
All that aside, Van Tassel is worried he’s back on the street, concerned about what further damage he might do.
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