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.