A US woman has shared the horrific moment a homeless man poured a bucket of "hot liquid" human waste on her on a busy Los Angeles street, saying the moment changed her life but she still has empathy for her attacker.
Heidi Van Tassel told NBC Los Angeles that she was getting into her car on Hollywood Boulevard when a homeless man ran towards her clutching a bucket.
She says the man pulled her from the car, dragged her into the road and dumped a bucket of faeces directly onto her head.
"It was diarrhoea. Hot liquid. I was soaked, and it was coming off my eyelashes and into my eyes," she said. "Paramedics who came to treat me said there was so much of it on me, that it looked like the man was saving it up for a month."
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Van Tassel was rushed to a nearby hospital after the attack, where she was tested for infectious diseases. She will need to undergo the same tests every three months.
"It was all inside my car because it was so much. He just kept pouring it and splattering it all over me," she said.
The effects of the attack have been serious and long-lasting, with Van Tassel telling NBC that the experience was "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."
The attacker, Jere Blessings was charged with battery and jailed. Records shows his is transient and deals with "schizophrenia and psychotic disorders".
"He doesn't need jail time. He needs mental health care," Van Tassel said. "I have empathy for him. Because he needs help."