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San Francisco Man Charged With Attempted Murder Of Cable Car Conductor

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A cable car climbs a hill in San Francisco (CBS)

A cable car climbs a hill in San Francisco (CBS)

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS / BCN) — Prosecutors formally charged a 32-year-old San Francisco man Tuesday with attempted murder for allegedly stabbing a San Francisco Municipal Railway cable car operator on Sunday. Meantime, investigators said they were still trying to determine a motive for the attack.

San Francisco Superior Court Judge Bruce Chan ordered bail for the suspect in the stabbing, George Luong, set at $1 million.

KCBS’ Doug Sovern Reports:

Luong’s arraignment was to have occured Tuesday, but it was postponed until Thursday because he was currently being held under psychiatric observation at San Francisco General Hospital.

Luong is accused of boarding an out-of-service cable car near Mason and Jackson streets and stabbing the 55-year-old conductor repeatedly in the chest, the arm and the face.

The victim, a 12-year veteran of the transit agency, suffered life-threatening injuries but was expected to survive, according to police.

Muni officials said they were not identifying the conductor just yet.

Rafael Cabrera, vice president of the Transport Workers Union, said beefed-up police protection of Muni employees is long overdue.

“When you see police presence on these vehicles, if anybody is about to do anything, they are going to think twice,” he said.

Cabrera has met with the wounded conductor and said he believed this was a random attack.

But SFPD Lt. Troy Dangerfield said Tuesday that “the motive is still unknown,” and added that authorities “still need to interview key witnesses as well as the victim.”

Witnesses said Luong started screaming at the conductor, then started stabbing him.

Police said some witnesses to the stabbing heard “screaming and arguing” between Luong and the cable car conductor.

Officers tracked Luong down and arrested him at his home on Himmelmann Place, a few blocks away from the scene of the attack. Police said they found fresh blood outside the residence.

Three members of Luong’s family were also cited for allegedly trying to prevent officers from entering the home to make the arrest.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.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

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