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East County News Service
February 18, 2021 (La Mesa) - A homeless man is under arrest for allegedly trying to rape a homeless woman in La Mesa on Wednesday afternoon.
La Mesa Police responded to a report of a man attacking a partially undressed woman on Amarillo Avenue. They found the victim, whose face was bleeding. She told police the man fled when she screamed, Patch.com reports.
Police launched a search of the area and arrested a man matching the suspect’s description in the 5900 block of Jackson Drive, about a half-mile from the crime scene, said Lt. Greg Runge.
The suspect, 43-year-old Louis Ahwuli Gomez, has been charged with attempted rape.



Thanks for your explanation, Miriam. And not to make light of or belabor the subject, but many housed people go for days, or longer, without bathing, brushing their teeth, etc. Having said that, I agree it's important to identify victims, sans names, that are unhoused.

Why must offender and victim be labeled "homeless"?

Plenty of people who succeed at or are victims of crimes are housed. What is the reason for identifying both parties as homeless? Why not simply, "Man Arrested for Attempted Rape in La Mesa." I truly want to understand the reasons for identifying both as homeless from a journalist's perspective.

In this specific case, I was aware of a similar crime

in La Mesa within the past two weeks in which the suspect had not been apprehended.  He was described by the woman attacked as likely being homeless, because he smelled like he hadn't bathed in a while.  He reached out and grabbed her, trying to drag her into bushes while she was walking a small dog.  She rolled down a hill to escape and ran to a  nearby home to call 911.

I wondered if this might be the same suspect, and thought the public including the earlier victim may want to be aware of this incident.

But in general I think your point is well taken.  It shouldn't matter if the assailant is homeless or housed.

As for victims, however, if a homeless woman is raped or attacked, it reminds us of the vulnerability of homeless people and the importance of trying to provide them with housing or other help to get off the streets and be safe. So I do believe identifying crime victims as homeless (without their names) is important.