By Andria Borba

SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) — The San Francisco Police Department released surveillance video late Friday afternoon of a man being brutally assaulted after entering a vehicle which he thought was his Lyft ride.

The incident happened on September 8 around 11:30 p.m. Police called it an aggravated assault.

The victim, 39-year-old Christopher Matthews, was waiting for his Lyft to arrive at the corner of First and Howard with his wife Rebecca. When a white four-door sedan pulled up at the corner, Matthews opened the passenger door, prompting the driver of the vehicle to get out and sucker punch him.

After the punch, Matthews fell backwards, where the back of his head hit the pavement hard. He was knocked unconscious and was bleeding from his ear, nose and the back of his head.

“The victim is fighting for his life,” said Grace Gatpandan of the SFPD.

“One person had come over and told me to life his head, so that he would not choke on his own blood–to lift it and turn it,” said Rebecca Matthews.

Matthews was sent to Alta Bates hospital in Oakland and is still recovering from traumatic brain injury as a result of the attack and subsequent fall.

“There was bleeding in the frontal lobes of his brain, as well as bleeding in the brain stem, which they described as the worst case scenario,” said Rebecca.

The suspect was described as an Asian man in his early 30’s who is approximately six feet tall with a buzz cut.

A police sketch of the assault suspect. (SFPD)

In addition to being a white four-door sedan, the suspect’s vehicle was shown to have a distinctive black roof and silver rims.

SFPD is asking for the public’s assistance in locating the suspect.

Matthews is a San Jose State graduate and a little league coach. He awoke in the hospital on Friday night. But his wife doesn’t know how much he will recover from the attack.

“Will I be able to ever leave my husband with the kids alone? I don’t know. Will I be able to let him drive and not worry? I don’t know,” said Rebecca.

She also had a message for her husband’s attacker.

“I don’t want him to harm anyone else and I don’t want him to do this to another family.”

A GoFundMe page was made for Matthews and has raised over $28,000 so far.

Comments (2)
  1. Bill Dittmar says:

    @Andria Borba, watch the video closer and consider changing the report. 1st and most obvious error in this report, that is not the driver that gets out, that is the passenger. 2nd, from the time Christopher steps off the curb until he hits the ground, his hands are in his pocket, he did not open the door of that car. The suspect opened the door to get out and assault him. 3rd, and finally, the car did not pull up to the corner, in a manner to make one think it was picking up passengers. It was still in the driving lane. Why Christopher thought that car was there for them when it never pulled over is a very big question that maybe his wife can answer.

    1. Ronaldo Streeter says:

      TY !! Actually I can answer…I’m not gonna try and address each of your points, but I think my comments may respond to several…??… I saw that report and I’m like ‘What are they reporting here?’ It was clearly the passenger and the guy did not open the back door in the vid I saw…I have gone across the street before in downtown to see if that’s MY white Altima Lyft or not. I’ve had drivers on the wrong side of the street so many times. Hey are you my Uber? Trust me GPS is not ‘All That’ and yeah sometimes there’s a miscue if it’s NOT your ride? “Are you Mario?” NO are you Jonathan? oops sorry mate I’ll keep searching. Thats the reason he “wondered” whether that was their Lyft ride – there’s hundreds of them all over the streets most of the time here there on the corner across the street! So unless they gps EXACTLY where your standing
      (which they don’t) you dont know which one is yours!*** But …as a neighborhood DRIVER in an Urban environment c’mon so you stop at a stoplight intersection downtown at night and you see some guy approaching your vehicle with his hands in his pockets. That’s basically normal in the City environment yeah? Except for most urbanites know better than to keep their hands in their pockets coz the police will shoot you for that. “I thought he had a weapon” Still…No reason to jump out and punch out a stranger is it? First order of business is to determine what is happening…and maybe why. No need to get out of the car. Wait til the light changes then go about your business.

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