A dramatic situation unfolded around 18th Street and Dolores Thursday afternoon involving a possibly homeless man with a knife, and a neighborhood resident whom he randomly decided to threaten. As victim Liam Passmore tells SFist, the situation began as he was crossing Dolores Street at 18th, and the suspect, with a skateboard under his arm, turned and said "I'm going to get you" and used a racial epithet.
From the other side of the street the suspect then allegedly held a knife in the air, and Passmore got on his cellphone to call the police because he was afraid the man might try to stab someone.
The suspect then proceeded to follow Passmore toward Bi-Rite Market, and was undeterred by several shopping baskets that Passmore threw in his path to slow him down.
Passmore then took shelter inside the store, and after the suspect then proceeded back toward the park, five Bi-Rite employees chased after him. The suspect also allegedly threatened a construction worker with a knife, who in turn brandished a baton from his truck.
When police arrived, they pulled guns on the suspect and told him to drop his knife, but he then hurled it, instead, onto a nearby roof. He was then taken into custody, but it's unclear yet if he's been charged.
SFist has reach out to the SFPD seeking confirmation of the incident and booking details.
Says Passmore, "Really, as trite as it might sound, I was only trying to do the right thing by reporting the guy to the cops in the first place. I never expected it accelerate like that with me as the focus point. But, this neighborhood has a fairly large homeless community. Much of it benign, with a palpable, down-on-their-luck sorrow attached, but there is another contingent that seems to wax and wane in size that exudes a very 'something wicked this way comes,' kind of vibe. You can feel it. And it always seems to be fueled either by mental illness, drugs or both. Hard to say which it was in this case, but I suspect the latter."
Update: SFPD Public Information Officer Robert Rueca responded to our request for more information and confirmed that the suspect was arrested on suspicion of criminal threats and assault with a deadly weapon. His name and any prior criminal history have not been released.