Man charged in Hollywood stabbing of Russian tourist

Reuters News
Posted: Nov 20, 2015 2:37 PM

(Reuters) - A homeless man was charged in Southern California on Friday with stabbing a Russian tourist who was visiting a popular Hollywood shopping area with his family earlier this week, prosecutors said.

Donald Offerman, 54, was charged with one count of attempted murder and four counts of assault with a deadly weapon, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office.

The victim was walking with his family at the Hollywood & Highland Center retail and entertainment complex on Wednesday when Offerman rushed them from behind and slashed the man, prosecutors said.

During an ensuing struggle, prosecutors said, Offerman slashed the victim again before he was detained at gunpoint by two New York Police Department detectives who saw the incident unfolding. The detectives were off duty but in Los Angeles on official business, the Los Angeles Times said.

A representative for Offerman could not be immediately reached on Friday. Offerman is set to appear in court to hear the charges later on Friday. The charges carry a possible sentence of 24 years to life in prison if he is convicted, prosecutors said.

Police told the Los Angeles Times on the day of the incident that Offerman had attacked "suddenly, for no reason," and that the victim was taken to the hospital in stable condition.

(Reporting by Curtis Skinner in San Francisco; Editing by Daniel Wallis and Grant McCool)