A man was arrested after throwing a bucket of ‘hot’ diarrhoea all over woman he passed near the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
The man, identified in court records as Jere Blessings, allegedly sprinted towards Heidi Van Tassel as she was sat in her car after a night out with friends in April this year.
Van Tassel was pulled out of her car and dragged into the middle of the street before a bucket of faeces was dumped on her head, public records confirmed.
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The terrified woman was immediately rushed to Hollywood Presbyterian Hospital after the attack, which she says has left her with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), news station NBC4 reported.
Van Tassel told the news station:
It was diarrhoea. Hot liquid. I was soaked, and it was coming off my eyelashes and into my eyes. It was all inside my car because it was so much. He just kept pouring it and splattering it all over me.
Referring to the amount of faeces used in the attack, paramedics who treated her said that it ‘looked like the man was saving it up for a month’, according to Van Tassel.
Upon arriving at the hospital, Van Tassel had to be tested for infectious diseases caused by contact with faeces, and will have to be retested every three months.
It’s so traumatic. The PTSD that I’m dealing with is beyond anything that I’ve ever felt. There needs to be some kind of help for the victims of these crimes.
Van Tassel said the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) told her it would investigate the crime and promised to have its victims’ advocate reach out to her to offer services. However, she said she never received a call from them.
Jere Blessings, who was described as having ‘schizophrenia and psychotic disorders’, was ultimately charged with battery before being taken to jail. But Van Tassel said ‘he doesn’t need jail time, he needs mental health care’.
Blessings did receive help, having been sent by a judge to a residential facility for people with mental health issues. However, it was only for two months and he was released in August.
The Los Angeles City Attorney’s office said Blessings is now back in the community, which is a concern to Van Tassel, who said: ‘I will never, ever, forget his face.’
Our thoughts are with Heidi and we hope she makes a full recovery.
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A Broadcast Journalism Masters graduate who went on to achieve an NCTJ level 3 Diploma in Journalism, Lucy has done stints at ITV, BBC Inside Out and Key 103. While working as a journalist for UNILAD, Lucy has reported on breaking news stories while also writing features about mental health, cervical screening awareness, and Little Mix (who she is unapologetically obsessed with).