Watch CBS News

Man wielding wooden stake attacks SFFD ambulance crew; steals vehicle, tries to run them over

Man wielding wooden pole attacks SFFD ambulance crew; steals vehicle, tries to run them over
Man wielding wooden pole attacks SFFD ambulance crew; steals vehicle, tries to run them over 02:21

SAN FRANCISCO -- A man wielding a wooden post attacked a San Francisco Fire Department ambulance crew, smashing the windows on their vehicle and when they ran from the attacker he got behind the wheel and tried to run them over, authorities said.

The San Francisco Fire Department Twitter account said the incident happened just before 7 a.m. in the area of 1717 Harrison Street outside a Best Buy store. The post described the suspect as a Latino man in his 40s, wearing a black jacket and brown pants. 

Police said after trying to run over the crew, the suspect also drove a number of laps in the Best Buy parking lot, later abandoning the ambulance in the back lot and fleeing on foot after jumping a fence at Treat and Florida Streets.

The two medics were shaken up but otherwise not injured. Photos of the attack showed two windows of the ambulance had been smashed as well as broken glass and the wooden stake inside the vehicle. 

The fire department said the ambulance was now out of service, with damage totaling in the thousands of dollars.

A post from the San Francisco Firefighters Local 798 said the medics were in an ambulance when they "were attacked by someone who used a stake from a tree, smashing windows and trying to assault them."

In the post, the firefighters' union criticized the city government over such incidents.

"This behavior in our City is not acceptable," the post said. "Last week our own union hall was broken into and ransacked. @SFPD responded and caught the burgler [sic] but not before he did thousands of dollars of damage. We have all [been] patient enough. It's time for some changes."

The post also tagged the Twitter account of the mayor's office, Mayor London Breed, and District Attorney Brooke Jenkins.

A spokesman for the San Francisco Fire Department also bemoaned the number of recent attacks on fire department personnel.

"I've been punched, I've been kicked. I've been spit on," said San Francisco Fire Department spokesman Lt. Jonathan Baxter. "It's come to the point of ridiculous."

"They find themselves under attack randomly on a Monday morning. It's too bad it's not unusual," said District 6 Supervisor Matt Dorsey. "These are paramedics. The last thing we would expect is they would be running for their own lives."

Surveillance video of the attack was described by a Best Buy security guard as "insane," but police did not release the video. 

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.