Suspect arrested after SFPD officer on bike is hit, critically injured
Mayor Ed Lee arrived at the hospital shortly after the officer was brought there
By Vivian Ho and Annie Ma
San Francisco Chronicle
SAN FRANCISCO — A San Francisco police officer on bicycle patrol three blocks from City Hall was critically injured Wednesday by a suspect in a gun-related case who ran him down in a sport utility vehicle and then drove off before being arrested several hours later, officials said.
The officer was struck about 12:30 p.m. on Turk Street near Van Ness Avenue. As he was rushed in an ambulance to a hospital for emergency surgery, police officers began searching for the driver in and around Buena Vista Park in the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood, roughly a mile and a half southwest of the crash scene.
The Lexus SUV that police said struck the officer was recovered near the intersection of Fell Street and Central Avenue, close to the Panhandle north of Buena Vista Park. Witnesses said the driver ran away after ditching the car.
Police took a suspect into custody at 3:30 p.m. more than a mile away, on the 500 block of Ellis Street in the Tenderloin. His name was not released because police have “some ID issues,” said Assistant Police Chief Toney Chaplin.
Chaplin did not disclose details of the officer’s injuries, but said he was out of surgery at San Francisco General Hospital and in the intensive care unit.
“He’s in the ICU, so I think that speaks for itself,” Chaplin said. “He’s in grave condition.”
The officer has been with the Police Department for four years and works the bicycle beat out of Tenderloin Station, police said. His name was not immediately released.
“I just spoke with some of the officers at the affected station, and everyone’s having a tough time right now,” Chaplin said.
Mayor Ed Lee arrived at the hospital shortly after the officer was brought there.
Sgt. Michael Andraychak, a department spokesman, said the officer was on his department-issued bicycle and investigating a firearms case when the suspect in that case saw him approach and hit him with the SUV.
Police cordoned off Turk Street between Van Ness Avenue and Franklin Street after the crash. A damaged bicycle lay on its side in the roadway next to a rental truck, as investigators began documenting evidence.
About 1:30 p.m., police asked people to avoid the area around Buena Vista Park. They searched the park until around 3 p.m. Neighbors were advised to shelter in place during the search.
Antonio Garcia, who was working on construction on Haight Street, said he heard noise on the street as he was taking his lunch break around 12:40 p.m.
“I heard cops. They were everywhere in the park, driving past here so fast,” he said. “There were maybe 40 or 50 of them. They had people on bikes, motorcycles, horses all over the park.”
The license plate on the SUV that hit the officer was stolen from another vehicle, the woman who owned the plate told The Chronicle. She said her husband had noticed the plate missing around lunchtime Wednesday.
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