SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — Police in San Francisco have arrested a car burglary suspect who allegedly ran over an officer and a second suspect near Alamo Square Park, according to authorities.
The incident happened at the intersection of Hayes and Pierce streets at the southern edge of Alamo Square Park where Pierce dead ends shortly before 12 p.m.
“I see the guy grab him and hit him, and I’m like, What the hell! A fight is going on here,” said witness Jason McAvoy.
Only it wasn’t just a fight. A plainclothes police officer on a bike — specifically patrolling the area for car break-ins had intervened.
But as soon as he tried to stop one suspect, a car — believed to be a getaway driver — came racing up the street.
“[He] rammed the officer, and in doing so, also ran over one of the suspects,” said San Francisco Police Officer Robert Rueca.
“I looked over I saw a car flying up in the air. An African-American guy in a white t-shirt comes rolling out,” said McAvoy. “He tries to get up and run another guy grabs him, hits him, knocks him down on the ground.”
That injured suspect was arrested at the Alamo Square scene. The car was eventually stopped several block away where police made a second arrest.
“The suspect, and the vehicle, were taken into custody at that location,” said Rueca.
Authorities put traffic control in place on Pierce Street and cordoned off the area. Both the officer and the second suspect were taken to hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
But beyond the drama in the streets, the incident provided evidence that police are out working undercover trying to stop the wave of break-ins that have become a source of international embarrassment for the city of San Francisco.
“That was the main target. The main target is people who would be breaking into vehicles,” Rueca
Visiting tourist Erin Ge, whose rental car was being broken into, said she had heard about how bad the problem had become in San Francisco.
“I’ve heard about this before we came here, but not expecting this,” said Ge.
Ge’s husband was checking on their rental with his binoculars when it happened.
“He saw the criminal smashing the window and he called me right away and said, Come back come back someone broke in our window,” said Ge.
Given how many car break-ins there are in San Francisco, Ge acknowledged she and her husband were fortunate to actually get their belongings back.”
“Yes, we are very lucky. And we are very grateful to the police officer. They were here so quickly,” said Ge.