A gang of seven young suspects remain on the loose after they dragged a man off a Muni bus and robbed him early Thursday morning.
According to San Francisco Police Department spokesperson Officer Albie Esparza, a 24-year-old man caught the 91-Owl Muni bus at 5th and Market Streets early yesterday. A group of seven black males between 17 and 20 years of age, all of whom were dressed in dark clothing, got on the bus at the same time.
All was uneventful, Esparza says, until about 3:30 a.m., when the bus arrived at the intersection of Santos Street and Velasco Avenue,near the Sunnydale public housing projects.
That's when the group of men dragged the 24-year-old victim off the bus. Once outside, one suspect brandished a handgun while another suspect brandished a knife, Esparza says, as the group collectively pushed the man to the ground, and stole his cellphone, backpack and wallet (which contained cash).
According to KTVU, "the attackers then ran up a path and next to an apartment building where one resident, who wishes to remain anonymous, said she heard the young men talking about stealing the man's wallet." (Esparza could not confirm that detail with SFist.)
San Francisco Municipal Transit Agency spokesperson Paul Rose appeared to suggest to KTVU that safety on Muni is the responsibility of the victim, saying "Be vigilant, when you're on Muni, just as you would be on city streets." It's unclear, however, how vigilance would have prevented this crime from occurring.
However, there is the eternal, tireless vigilance of Muni's onboard cameras, which might help police track down these suspects. According to Esparza, investigators are reviewing the bus surveillance footage in an effort to identify the suspects, all of whom remain at large today.
Meanwhile, Rose reminds us, Muni riders should always "alert the operator if you think anything is out of the ordinary, or call 911 if you're in immediate danger."