SAN FRANCISCO—Officials from the San Francisco Police Department have arrested a suspect responsible attacking a Muni Bus operator on November 14. According to a press release from the SFPD, the incident occurred approximately at 8:50 a.m., after officers arrived to 4th and Townsend Streets about an assault.
Officers contacted the bus operator, a 53 year-old Fairfield resident who was struck several times in the head by a suspect who fled the scene. The victim whose name has not been released to the public was taken to a local hospital to be treated for non-life threatening injuries.
The victim informed police that the suspect bicycled past her bus and made an obscene gesture with his hand. After arriving at a bus stop on 4th and Townsend Streets, the suspect got off the bike, boarded the bus, and assaulted the driver. He was seen riding a dark colored fold up style bicycle and wearing a distinctive red Georgia Bulldogs jacket, a bright orange bicycle helmet, with a sticker that read: “Bike Lover, Save Water.”
On November 21, police officers from the San Francisco Police Department’s Muni Task Force were conducting surveillance at 4th & Townsend Streets in an attempt to locate the suspect who was later identified as Sami Tapio Tuomivaara, from the MUNI Security Video that recorded the initial attack.
Tuomivaara was riding his bicycle when officers attempted to take him into custody, he fled from police. The investigation led authorities to the area near the 600 block of 16th Street. While working with officers from the University of California San Francisco Police Department, SFPD officers found Tuomivaara and he was taken into custody.
“Muni transit operators have very demanding jobs,” said John Haley, SFMTA Director of Transit. “Their focus should be on safely carrying 700,000 passengers a day, not on having to defend themselves from violent assaults. We applaud the San Francisco Police Department for following up on this case and for doing everything they can to bring a suspect to justice.”
“Our investigators worked diligently to identify and apprehend the suspect in this case. We take assaults on MUNI employees very seriously and we work closely with SFMTA to make the transit system as safe as possible,” said SFPD Commander Teresa Ewins.
Although an arrest has been made, The SFPD is asking anyone with details on the incident to contact the SFPD Anonymous Tip Line at (415) 575-4444 or text-a-tip to TIP411 with SFPD at the beginning of the message.