Two homeless men attacked a father of five with a machete at a California beach – leaving him with gruesome injuries, authorities said.
The family from out of town was eating lunch on Dan Blocker Beach in Malibu Sunday when two homeless men approached, telling them they “were not allowed” there, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
An argument ensued and one of the suspects, Richard Franck, pulled out a machete and started hacking at the father, cutting the man’s upper torso and hand, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said.
Franck and another homeless man, Benjamin Mast, then proceeded to chase the family of five from the beach back to a parking lot near the Pacific Coast Highway, deputies told the Malibu Times.
Some 20 officers responded to the scene, and Franck and Mast were later arrested following a brief standoff at the parking lot, where they had “locked themselves” into a restroom, LASD officials told the newspaper.
“Through different statements from the suspect and the accomplice, the weapon was located stashed in some bushes down by the beach,” LASD Lt. Jim Braden said.
Both Franck and Mast were described as transients in their mid-30s. No further information about them was immediately available, the Malibu Times reported.
Prosecutors detailed the father’s grisly injuries Wednesday, saying the machete attack left him disfigured with a cut tongue, a lost eye and cuts to his nose, ear and lip.
Franck has been charged with attempted murder, mayhem and assault with a deadly weapon, while Mast was charged with accessory to attempted murder.
Malibu Mayor Paul Grisanti said he was shocked by the “vicious, unprovoked attack” on the visiting family.
“On behalf of the City Council, I want to thank our local sheriff’s deputies for their quick response to remove the suspects before they could harm anyone else,” Grisanti said in a statement.
The attack came as the homelessness crisis in Malibu continues to deteriorate, with recent crimes and fires stemming from transients in the area. Community members held a meeting late Thursday to address the public safety concerns, KTTV reported.