Man taking into custody for poisoning homeless people in California
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A man in California has been charged with poisoning eight homeless people with a substance described as “twice as strong” as pepper spray.
William Robert Cable, 38, is indict for giving not less than eight people food containing oleoresin capsicum and filming them as they became ill.
Many of the alleged victims were hospitalised and authorities believe the suspect could have targeted others.
Mr Cable faces up to 19 years in prison if convicted.
“These human beings were preyed upon because they are vulnerable,” Orange County’s district attorney Todd Spitzer said.
“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.”
According to the Orange County District Attorney’s Office, the suspect approached vulnerable homeless people in the Huntington Beach area in May and offered them food laced with a substance “twice as strong” as the pepper spray used by police.
Some of the victims were told they would be taking part in a “spicy food challenge” and were given beer to encourage them to take part, while others were unaware the food had been tampered with.
After eating the food, they ached reactions including seizure-like symptoms, difficulty breathing and vomiting, the District Attorney’s Office said.