Hit-and-Run Rampage Suspect Arrested After Reporting Vehicle Carjacked

gascon_bike_rampage_small.jpgSFPD Chief Gascon with a battered bicycle displayed behind him. Photo: Matthew Roth

Investigators from the San Francisco and Albany police departments
have arrested
the suspected driver
of an SUV who went
on a
rampage
and targeted four cyclists in San Francisco Wednesday night.

The unidentified man, described only as a 40-year-old white
male, was taken into custody in Albany at around 1 p.m. today after he
showed up at the Albany Police Department to report his vehicle had been
carjacked. 

"We have significant evidence to lead us to believe
this suspect was
involved in the incident," said San Francisco Police Chief George
Gascón. But he cautioned they had
not established a motive nor would they divulge too much information
about the ongoing investigation.

At a press conference this afternoon, Gascón described the case as
being "of great significance" to
his department. "We had an individual who went around the city and
basically mowed down
four cyclists," he said.

According to the SFPD, because
the suspect still has to be medically cleared and completely booked, the
SFPD is withholding his name and many details about him, but police
said he is a likely resident of Albany.

"We don’t want to do anything today to jeopardize the case," Gascón
said.

SFPD Sgt. Jon Kasper, who led the investigation, gave a summary of the 36 hour investigation, saying his department worked closely
with the Albany PD.

Kasper said the registered owner of a 2008 blue Nissan Rogue SUV
had fled the scene after driving into the fourth cyclist and managed to
evade the police until today.

During the investigation the SFPD went to the home where the
suspect’s car had been registered, only to find out he had moved. They
tracked him to his new address, but he wasn’t there either. The SFPD
conducted joint surveillance with the Albany PD, but the suspect
continued to evade them.

The suspect will be charged with one count of attempted murder, one
count of assault with a deadly weapon with attempt to
cause body harm, and one count of felony hit and run for each of the victims, bringing his total charges to 12.

Beyond the injuries to the cyclists, there were no other reported
injuries. Several cars sustained damage in the series of events. 

The SFPD wouldn’t elaborate on the reasons for the medical
screening during booking, but didn’t rule out physical injuries or
mental instability. Gascón said more information will likely be released
today and over the weekend.

  • Nick

    Excellent work all the way around. However, there needs to be an increased seriousness in how the police treat individual hit and runs involving bicyclists. If the driver hit just one person (on purpose), would a police report even have been taken?

    That said, good job SFPD. We’re just trying to keep you honest.

  • This is seriously scary. I can’t imagine what it’s like for the 4 cyclists involved.

  • He went in to report his car as carjacked. You have to admit he has nerve. Either that, or he wanted to build his case for insanity.

    Thank you SFPD and the Albany Police Department.

  • maaaty

    From the Chronicle: “The suspect was arrested on four counts each of attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon and felony hit and run.”

    There we go — that’s what I wanted.

    And yes, he’s got a lot of nerve.

  • Nick

    I heard an update from the news that the suspect was being treated at SF General while awaiting his transfer to 850 for processing. Let’s not forget the victim’s in all this. They must be feel an extra sense of sickness being in the same building with that person.

    Throw the f-n book at him!

  • volker

    Ahhh… yes, the stolen car defense. My friend who did several months on crutches after being mowed down on his motor scooter in a hit and run had the driver report the car stolen the collision – after the collision happened. you know what… the driver got away with it.

    it just goes to show – if you hit someone the ‘smart’ thing to to is to drive away and declare your car stolen. i wonder if mr. 40 year old white male had some legal counseling in this matter.

  • Moley

    Volker

    The problem is that the burden of proof is on the prosecution to prove he was driving. The fact that it was his vehicle isn’t sufficient.

    So if there were no witnesses, (and he gets a good lawyer) then he could walk.

    It’s the same deal with those red-light camera tickets and speed camera tickets. You can make a decent fist of ducking those tickets by claiming that (for whatever reason) you weren’t driving. Even if you loaned the vehicle to someone, there is no obligation to incriminate them.

    So those camera’s have to get a clear face shot in the image, which they often don’t. No face pic – the perp walks.

    And of course in this case, there are probably no camera’s so it will come down to eye witnesses.

    Having said all that, this guy is clearly a whack job and unlikely to be able to afford or mount a good defense.

  • cyclotronic

    there is alot of bs in this case. they had the car, they had the wallet. suspect AT LARGE. no photo, no name, no excuse. what if he went on a gun rampage? We’d know his effen name, that’s for sure. what if he skipped the state, the country? or did more harm? looking forward to the excuses.

  • Nice, so they arrested the guy. But he walked into the freakin’ police station and identified himself, providing the license number on his vehicle! That’s even more obvious than holding up a Starbucks.

    In this case, it doesn’t take Sherlock Holmes to recognize there is evidence in the car to who was last driving it.

  • Yeah I’m curious about why no photo of the suspect was released either. Perhaps it had something to do with the manner of the investigation…but you would think you would want to find the guy asap and a public photo would have made it harder for him to stay on the run.

    Will be curious about his MO. District 5 diary reader?

  • Michael Baehr

    OK, so now we have a name, but no mugshot.

    How are we supposed to have a Two Minutes’ Hate without seeing your face, David Mark Clark?

  • The only way to make sure that every single thing that can be done under the law is to constantly keep the pressure on to make it happen. No one has died in this case, so the legal system’s propensity to downplay the situation will be in full swing. There need to be letters to editors, emails to DA’s, cyclists in the court for proceedings… otherwise, this will die with a slap on the wrist.

  • Kristen

    Has anybody tried to find him on facebook? Everyone and their Mom is on there… a little digging, it shouldn’t be hard if he’s there under his name and Albany location. Just a thought. I hate what is happening to cyclists!! Oakland just lost Erik Fitzpatrick and Pete!!!

  • Michael Baehr

    Interesting that the Chronicle is now reporting that he may have been an “avid cyclist” himself.

    Going back to my “off his meds” hypothesis.

  • sjbrown

    Or what if he was carjacked?

    Just sayin’.

  • What if he were really carjacked, you ask? Then he wouldn’t have left his wallet and iPhone on the front passenger seat, that’s what.

  • Moley

    Greasy

    Not all carjackings are for theft of the vehicle or its contents. Some are just for the purpose of a ride.

    So if someone alleges their vehicle was stolen, or that they were carjacked, the fact that some of their in-car possessions were not removed by the jacker does not constitute a refutation of that allegation, from a legal point of view.

    You’d better hope the DA has better evidence than that. Presumptions don’t make criminal cases.

  • Constance

    This case is driving me crazy as it seems that none of the news stations (other than KRON 4) are showing this guy’s picture. It all seems so hush-hush, which does lead me to believe he has an awfully good lawyer. The freaky thing for me is that I think I have met this guy a few times thru mutual friends. And if it is indeed the same guy, his background makes the story even more bizzare.

  • sjbrown

    So his wallet was on the passenger seat. I don’t see how that gives us any information. Either he put it there when he got into the car or when he got out. If carjacked, it stands to reason that he was instructed to leave it, or that he panicked and forgot it.

  • Constance

    If the car was indeed carjacked, why did it take him more than two days to go to the police to report the theft?

  • Nick
  • Constance

    Thanks Nick.

    Yes, that is the fellow that I met. Creepy.

  • Nick

    Generally when the media doesn’t release the most disheveled mugshot photo they can get their hands on, it means he might have family connections and hence a good lawyer.

    I don’t mean to pry, but do you know anything about his background (speculative or otherwise)?

  • Constance

    Google “Share International” which is a group he is involved with. I met him when I was checking them out. Beside being a tennis pro, I heard he was a massage therapist.
    On the surface of all that, you would “think” he is a peaceable person… so there is
    way more to this story which we may never know.

    I can’t say I know him anymore than being introduced on maybe 3 occasions. As I am not part of that group, I have not ever interacted beyond a “howdy do”.

  • Constance

    I just heard he hails from New York and only been out here a few months?

  • I’ve seen Volker’s comment up for two days now, and I have to say that the fact he is a white male has nothing to do with this case. Would Volker have made the same comment if it was a female or someone of color? Why drag that issue into this? The guy obviously has issues that transcend race, sex, etc.

    I do agree that if you mess up in a vehicle, the easiest thing to do is to run away and claim it was stolen, but come on, it has nothing to do with the fact the accused is a white male.

  • Sanfordia113

    Any update on what happened to David Mark Clark? Last news article I could find said he was pleading insanity. Interesting that his lawyer was Brendan Conroy, who Governor Brown has since appointed SF Superior Court judge and was the man who allowed 119- time woman beater to avoid jail. This judge/defense attorney is bad news. Next time he is up for election, we need to vote him out. No telling what he will do when the next cyclist victim (or deceased victim’s family) is before him in court.

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