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SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA / A news summary

Police Say Man's Throat Cut at Facility for Mentally Ill

November 30, 2000

LOS ANGELES — A 72-year-old man slit another man's throat Tuesday morning at the Lamp Village, an outpatient facility for the mentally ill, police said.

Robert Stephens walked up behind a 53-year-old man at about 8:30 a.m. Tuesday in the Lamp Village's cafeteria and sliced his throat with a 5-inch folding blade, said Det. Jose Reyes.

"The victim was eating his breakfast, minding his own business, when the suspect came up from behind," Reyes said.

After slitting the man's throat, Stephens handed the knife over to employees of the treatment center.

"When they brought (Stephens) in, he sat calmly, but we couldn't talk to him because he was babbling incoherently," Reyes said.

The victim, whose name has not been released, survived and was taken to the University of Southern California Medical Center, Reyes said.

Both men were residents at the facility, in the 500 block of Crocker Street, Reyes said.

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