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Laguna Beach Police Identify Suspect In Noxious Fumes Rock Attack

LAGUNA BEACH (CBS) — Laguna Beach police have identified a suspect in the attack at a Laguna Beach apartment building where someone threw noxious acid through a window, a sergeant said Tuesday.

Authorities were tight-lipped on the details as they were still pursuing the suspect.

Stacey Butler, reporting for KCAL9 and CBS2, spoke to a man who lived in the apartment that was attacked.

Andre Atabaki told Butler a former neighbor has been terrorizing him and his wife for months. He is convinced the former neighbor, whom he did not name, was behind the mayhem.

Laguna Beach police Sgt. Louise Callus confirmed there is a suspect, but the department has not named the person believed responsible for the attack because he or she was still at-large.

A masked suspect threw butyric acid bound up with a rock through a window at 429 Cypress Drive about 2:45 a.m. Friday, forcing residents of the five units to find somewhere else to stay.

Responding officers and paramedics were irritated by the acid, a product of fermentation found in butter and cheese.

Lt. Jason Kravetz likened the effects of butyric acid to pepper spray.

One resident compared the smell to formaldehyde.

No one was hospitalized.

On a garage door, police found a message in black spray paint that said, "Stalk someone else."

Crews dressed in protective gear entered the apartment to investigate further. A bomb squad removed an unidentified device, which did not appear to be dangerous.

(©2011 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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