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Public Safety

San Diego Police Release Sketch Of Homeless Attack Suspect

A sketch of the suspect provided by San Diego police, July 14, 2016.
San Diego Police Department
A sketch of the suspect provided by San Diego police, July 14, 2016.

San Diego police on Thursday released a composite sketch of the man suspected to be behind a series of attacks on homeless men across San Diego this month.

The attacks left three dead and one injured.

"Obviously this sketch depicts a white male," police Capt. Dave Nisleit told KPBS News. "I know our witnesses describe him somewhere in his 40s, maybe as old as his early 50s. But what stands out to me is he looks like slightly average, larger-than-average size ears, very high check bones and a very sunken in face. So I'm hoping that, coupled maybe some views of the video, can maybe give somebody a little bit better picture to say, 'Hey, I know who this is.'"

Police released a convenience store video of the suspect shortly after the first fatal attack on July 3.

Anthony Padgett, 36, of Chula Vista was arrested July 7 but released Monday. San Diego police Capt. Dave Nisleit said the department found "exculpatory" evidence that left authorities unable to bring a case against Padgett.

"Again, there is significant exculpatory evidence to suggest that it's not Padgett. ... It is important to put the right person in jail. It's also equally important to not put the wrong person in jail," Nisleit said.

He added: "We have all hands in, not only the homicide unit, but all patrol commands, all specialized units, other local agencies and to include the FBI."

Nisleit has described the assailant as "extremely dangerous" and has urged the public to call 911 if they think they see him.

Anyone with information on the homeless attacks is asked to call San Diego police at (619) 531-2293 or Crime Stoppers' anonymous tip line at (888) 580-8477.

Surveillance video of person of interest