A good Samaritan was cut across the face when he jumped in to save a Los Angeles girl who was attacked on her walk to school by a homeless woman shouting racial slurs, according to local reports.
Shocking video shows the moment the unhinged woman approached the girl and suddenly struck her in the face near South Main Street and West 87th Street just before 8 a.m. on May 26 — grabbing the student and wrestling her to the ground.
Hero bystander John Irias can be seen rushing to push the assailant off the girl, but the homeless woman, who has yet to be identified, manages to slash Irias’ face with a box cutter.
Irias was able to hold the woman down until police arrived to arrest her. The student was unharmed and able to continue walking to school, local outlet KTLA reported.
Despite suffering a cut across his nose, Irias said he was just happy the child was safe, noting that he jumped to help because he was thinking about his own young daughter.
He added that the attack appeared to be random and triggered by racism.
“She was shouting racial slurs. She was saying like, ‘I’m tired of you Hispanic people,’” Irias told LA affiliate Fox 11. “So it was just a random attack, just a hateful crime.”
The successful rescue appeared to be the result of Irias being in the right place at the right time, his friend, Victor Camarena, said.
Irias had been on the block after arriving late to meet up with Camarena, after being held up because he couldn’t find his own car keys.
Irias was busy parking his car while waiting for Camarena when he spotted the homeless woman walking by him.
“I saw the homeless person [that] just passed me strike the little girl in the face,” Irias recalled. “That’s when I ran over to help.
“Along the way, the homeless person proceeded to take out a weapon and before I could find out what that was, I went for a takedown and I was slashed in the face.”
Camarena said he was just across the street when he saw Irias “gushing blood” from his face, with the friend rushing in to help him detain the woman and call 911.
Camarena, who has EMT training, helped treat Irias with the first aid kits in his car until first responders arrived.
“If everything hadn’t played out the way that it did that morning, from him being late to my house, from me not being able to find my car keys, God only knows what could have happened to that little girl,” Camarena said. “He’s a hero.”