Two transient attacks put homeless on edge

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by HAYLEY GUENTHNER & KREM.com

KREM.com

Posted on March 21, 2013 at 6:05 PM

Updated Thursday, Mar 21 at 6:43 PM

SPOKANE, Wash. – Two brutal attacks of suspected transients in just a week of each other has their community on edge. Major Crimes Detectives said they have very little to go on. They have no suspects and no leads.
 
People who said they know the streets well told KREM 2 News there are several theories going around about the assaults. Some say they were completely random. Others told us the victims may have provoked it. Many folks familiar with the streets like Mike Hamilton said they are on edge.
 
If they're not (living in fear) they should be,” said Mike Hamilton. “This has gotten worse.”
 
Major Crimes detectives have their hands full. The first transient attack happened as a woman walked near Freeway Park. She was stabbed in the chest and walked to the hospital with serious injuries.
 
Exactly a week later on Tuesday, a man was found with severe head trauma on a lower South Hill sidewalk. He was rushed to surgery and is expected to make it. Those who said they knew the victims are struggling to come up with a motive.
 
“I don't understand it,” said Hamilton. “I don't think it's about money. You don't rob homeless people. They don't have anything. I just think somebody is sick."
 
Detectives are making the rounds downtown. They’re handing out fliers urging anyone with info to come forward. SPD’s Downtown Unit said they're keeping a close eye on transient hot spots. That’s a comfort to people like Tony Welliver.
 
“At least be aware of what's going on and checking on things,” he said.
 
But Tony said all the emphasis patrols in the world likely won't turn up suspects in either case.
 
“It’s hard to catch someone who doesn’t want to be found.”
 
Detectives do not believe the assaults are connected. The victim's identities have not been released.

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