63-year-old woman in critical condition after random attack by homeless man in California

A 63-year-old woman taking a break at work was beaten in an alley so badly that she was unrecognizable. She was admitted to a hospital in critical condition. The attacker was identified by witnesses and arrested. He is 51-year-old Hector Manuel Ulloa, a homeless man who had recently been released from jail and who has many prior convictions. NBC 4 reports he has now been charged with attempted murder:

The charges against Hector Manuel Ulloa, 51, of San Bernardino, include allegations that he used a glass bottle as a deadly and dangerous weapon, caused great bodily injury and has six prior convictions dating back to 1992. He could face up to 43 years to life in state prison if convicted, prosecutors said…

“Although Burbank police detectives are still investigating a possible motive for this attack, the act appears to be completely random, as there is no known association between … Ulloa and the victim,” Green said earlier this week.

Not only does the attack appear random; there was also no immediate prelude to what happened. No conversation or personal slight on the street. Ulloa was hiding behind a bush in an alley and burst out as the woman was talking on the phone:

According to police, Ulloa targeted the woman by hiding behind the bushes and waiting as she passed by.

“He jumped out and kind of like punched her in the head, and that kind of took her down,” said Henry Kwan who saw the attack happen. “Then he started punching her in the head and kicking her multiple times — maybe 10 to 20 times — and she was screaming for help.”

Police have video footage of the attack from nearby security cameras, but have not released it.

If you’re wondering why the witnesses didn’t intervene, it seems they did. A group of them approached the man and told him to stop. He walked away casually as if nothing had happened.

This all happened in the middle of the day. We’ll have to wait to see if the police can come up with any motive for this attack. If I were forced to guess, I’d say he was trying to rob her to fund his next narcotics purchase. Here’s a local report from KTLA: