SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) – Despite a high-profile search, the man who fatally assaulted a runner in last year’s Bay to Breakers race has not been arrested.
31-year-old Stephen Martin, an entrepreneur from Santa Clara, joined some friends as a group of trolls for the Bay to Breakers. Celebrating after the race at Golden Gate Park, with crowds of people around, he was hit with a single punch that would end his life.
“We are actively seeking the public’s help in making this case,” said San Francisco Police Chief Greg Suhr in a briefing on June 11, 2012. “Anything that anybody has that they think will be useful, we’ll take it.”
“There was a dispute over a cellphone. An argument over a cellphone,” said Commander James Loftus at that briefing.
The sucker punch knocked Martin to the sidewalk. He hit his head and never regained consciousness.
Police quickly focused on a photo taken moments before Martin was punched. The public was asked to focus on the outsiders in the photo, one wearing a 49ers cap, the other a pink tutu.
To widen the dragnet, Martin’s friends launched a social media campaign, much like the very successful effort to catch a man who trashed a Muni bus during the revelry after the World Series.
So far, there are no arrests and no indication that police even identified the people in that photograph.
“As we speak, investigators are still working on the case,” Albie Esparza of the San Francisco Police Department told KPIX 5 this week.
“What could be challenging in this case is you have to prove that you have enough evidence to support a homicide charge, if an ID is already made,” Esparza said.
One source close to the investigation told KPIX 5 the biggest case is not finding the persons of interest, but finding a solid eyewitness to what happened in Sharon Meadow. All of Martin’s friends had their backs turned when he was punched, and that leaves police right where they started.
“We need to have someone come forward and either tell us, point out, who the suspect was that actually committed the assault on the victim, and who witnessed them actually do it,” Esparza said.
KPIX 5 spoke with Martin’s father via phone. He simply told us that nothing will ever be the same.
Anyone with information in the death of Stephen Martin is asked to contact the San Francisco Police Department at 415-575-4444. Tips can be left anonymously.
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