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Sulfuric acid thrown into face of woman in San Diego; attack may have been random

SAN DIEGO -- A man allegedly threw sulfuric acid on a woman who was walking into a Golden Hill laundromat just before 6 a.m. Saturday, police confirmed.

The assault happened at 1015 25th St. The suspect fled the scene by car.

The woman was taken to a hospital and treated for second-degree burns on her face, arms and back. Officials said the victim was injured pretty badly.

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She described the suspect's vehicle to police as an older model, dark blue BMW. She told police she did not know the suspect.

About 20 minutes later, police arrested a 55-year-old man in a dark blue BMW who was causing a disturbance nearby at a Shell Gas Station at 2484 F Street.

The woman positively identified the man at the gas station as the same man who threw the caustic chemicals at her in front of the laundromat. Police said the suspect’s name is Arturo Jose Reyes.

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Hazardous Materials officials later identified the chemical substance thrown at the victim as sulfuric acid, police said. Hazmat crews decontaminated the scene at 25th Street following the attack.

Reyes was taken into custody and booked into San Diego Central Jail. He's being charged with assault with a caustic chemical and aggravated mayhem.

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According to police, when a person is guilty of aggravated mayhem he or she intentionally causes permanent disability or disfigurement of another person, manifesting extreme indifference to the physical or psychological well-being of another person.

Reyes could face life in prison with the possibility of parole if he’s found guilty.

Police said the motive for the assault is under investigation.

The name of the victim was not immediately released.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, if sulfuric acid makes contact with the skin or eyes it can lead to severe redness, pain, blisters and serious, deep skin burns. If the chemical is inhaled or ingested upon contact, it can also cause shortness of breath, shock or collapse.

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