SAN FRANCISCO (CBS / AP / BCN) ― San Francisco police on Monday said they were still trying to determine the motive for the stabbing of a San Francisco Municipal Railway cable car operator.

A San Francisco man, 32-year-old George Luong, remained in custody Monday and faced an attempted murder charge for allegedly stabbing the cable car conductor multiple times on Sunday afternoon in Chinatown.

The victim, a 55-year-old man, was attacked inside his cable car at 4:18 p.m. near Mason and Jackson streets, after he had taken the car out of service for track maintenance, police said.

No riders were aboard during the attack, which left the victim with life-threatening injuries.

He was knifed several times in the torso and arm, but was expected to survive, SFPD Lt. Troy Dangerfield said.

After the attack, several witnesses directed officers toward a Chinatown apartment on Himmelmann Place, where they found fresh blood on the handrail of the building and arrested Luong.

Police also cited and released three of his family members – Rocky Luong, 64, Kimberly Luong, 28, and Vicky Luong, 35 – for allegedly interfering with an investigation and assault on an officer after they tried to prevent officers from entering the home to arrest Luong, Dangerfield said.

The San Francisco Chronicle reported Monday that investigators did not believe the conductor – a 12-year veteran of the transit agency – knew his attacker, but police said the motive remained unclear.

Investigators were still waiting to interview the victim, according to Dangerfield.

“People heard screaming and arguing,” and saw an altercation between the suspect and the operator, Dangerfield said.

(© 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press and Bay City News contributed to this report.)


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