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Suspect In Murder Of Elderly San Francisco Newspaper Vendor Arrested

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San Francisco Chronicle newspaper vendor Dallas Ayers waits for customers February 24, 2009 in San Francisco. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

San Francisco Chronicle newspaper vendor Dallas Ayers waits for customers February 24, 2009 in San Francisco. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) - Police have arrested a suspect in the January murder of a well-known, elderly newspaper vendor in San Francisco.

San Francisco police in the Tenderloin district recognized 36-year-old Mark Anthony Cassell through a department-wide crime bulletin.

Cassell was taken into custody and booked into San Francisco County Jail on murder charges, police said.

77-year-old newspaper vendor Dallas Ayers was attacked on Jan. 28 in front of One Post St., about one block from Market Street.

The suspect approached Ayers, wrapped his arms around the victim’s waist, picked him up in the air and dropped him onto the ground. The suspect then fled the scene, police said.

Ayers was immediately transported to a nearby hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries on Feb. 21, police and medical examiner’s officials said.

A vigil for Ayers was held on Feb. 28, outside the newspaper stand where he worked and where he was fatally injured during the attack.

At the vigil, the Archdiocese of San Francisco lit candles, prayed and sang outside the San Francisco Chronicle newspaper stand where Ayers worked, located inside the Montgomery BART and Municipal Railway station.

Ayers had been working as a newspaper vendor for about 30 years and was on his midday break at the time of the attack, said Dave Ellis, a business representative with Teamsters Local 853, the union representing the vendors.

Anyone with additional information about the homicide is asked to call the San Francisco Police Department’s homicide detail at (415) 553-1145, the department’s anonymous tip line at (415) 575-4444 or to send a tip by text message to TIP411 with “SFPD” in the message.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco and Bay City News Service. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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