SAN DIEGO -
A homeless man accused of throwing sulfuric acid on a stranger as she was leaving a laundromat east of downtown San Diego pleaded not guilty Wednesday to charges of vandalism and assault with a caustic chemical.
Arturo Jose Reyes, 55, was ordered held on $500,000 bail.
Authorities said the victim spotted Reyes sitting in a dark blue BMW as she was walking into the laundromat on 25th Street near Broadway about 5:45 a.m. Saturday.
Prosecutor Kelly Rand alleged that Reyes confronted the woman outside the business, yelled something about the devil, then threw the acid on her.
The victim was taken to a hospital for treatment of second-degree burns. Rand said the woman suffered blisters on her eyes, cheek and buttocks.
Reyes, who was apprehended at a nearby gas station, also suffered second- degree burns from the sulfuric acid, which is used in drain cleaner, Rand said. She said the defendant was homeless and had $11,000 in cash in his car when he was arrested.
A readiness conference was scheduled for Oct. 5 and a preliminary hearing for Oct. 10.
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