SAN FRANCISCO—The San Francisco Police Department arrested Michael Lopez, 43, for assaulting several victims on Polk and Clay Streets.
Authorities indicate on Monday, March 22, at 7:56 a.m., officers from the Northern Station received a call that described a perpetrator physically attacking victims.
“One of the victims witnessed the suspect following two unknown Asian females. As the females began to run away from the suspect, the suspect threw an unknown object at the females. One of the victims observed that the unknown object hit one of the females in the back as they were running away,” the SFPD states in a news release.
Authorities noted that Lopez confronted one of the witnesses while “uttering threats of violence.”
Fearing for his safety, the San Francisco Police Department indicated the witness pepper-sprayed Lopez and he subsequently grabbed a broomstick and used it to threaten the witness, but “the victim fended off the suspect by using pepper spray a second time.”
The victim did not sustain any injuries during the incident.
After this altercation, the police said that Lopez approached a homeless victim, who said he was reportedly laying on the sidewalk when Lopez assaulted him “without provocation.”
“A third victim witnessed the attack on the homeless victim and intervened to stop the suspect’s attack but was assaulted by the suspect with a broomstick,” the SFPD stated.
Both of the victims sustained non-life-threatening injuries and were treated by medics at the scene. Lopez was located and detained after matching victims descriptions. Probably cause was developed and he was arrested. Lopez had methamphetamines and drug paraphernalia in his possession at the time of his arrest.
The San Francisco News reached out to the police to ask how much of a problem drugs like meth are for San Francisco and whether the authorities suspect that Lopez was on meth when he assaulted the victims.
A spokesman for the department said:
“We do not have evidence such as a blood test or field sobriety test that shows that the suspect was under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol because assault investigations do not require impairment to be proven as a factor. Officers often encounter people who use and deal drugs on our City streets. Officers make numerous arrests for people who deal illegal narcotics, and we bring these cases to the District Attorney’s Office for potential prosecution. One of the biggest issues we as a city face every day are people who overdose from drug usage.”
Lopez was booked at the San Francisco County Jail for two counts of battery, and one count each of possession of a controlled substance, possession of unlawful drug paraphernalia, criminal threats, and assault with a deadly weapon.
Jail records indicate he is being held without bond and his next court date is April 7, at 9 a.m.
The case is still active. Anyone with information is asked to call 1-415-575-4444 or text TIP411 and start the message with “SFPD.” All tipsters will remain anonymous.