Man Pleads Guilty to Poisoning Eight Transients in Huntington Beach

April 10, 2021 Updated: April 11, 2021

WESTMINSTER—A 38-year-old San Andreas man has pleaded guilty and was sentenced to four years in prison for poisoning eight homeless people in Huntington Beach, according to court records obtained April 9.

William Robert Cable admitted 13 counts of poisoning, one count of inflicting injury on an elder adult, all felonies, and seven misdemeanor counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

Cable videotaped the transients to get their reactions as they ate food laced with oleoresin capsicum, which prosecutors said was twice as strong as pepper spray.

The victims suffered “seizure-like symptoms, difficulty breathing, vomiting” as well as intense pain in the mouth and stomach, according to the Orange County District Attorney’s Office.

Cable, who was arrested in May of last year, could have faced up to 19 years and three months in prison if he had been convicted at trial.

Some of the victims were told they were involved in a “spicy food challenge” before they were fed the tainted food, prosecutors said.