The suspect in a bizarre late August incident in which two SFFD paramedics had to flee from their ambulance as a crazed man allegedly hijacked it and tried to run them down, has finally been arrested and charged.
The incident unfolded near Division Street just before 7 a.m. as two paramedics were approached by a man wielding a wooden stake and, unprovoked, he reportedly began vandalizing the ambulance with it and smashing windows. The two paramedics jumped out of the vehicle, and in doing so, one of them dropped the keys. The suspect then allegedly picked up the keys, started up the ambulance, and briefly chased the EMTs before taking the ambulance on a joyride, spinning circles around the Best Buy parking lot at 1717 Harrison Street.
While the paramedics were not harmed, their lives were threatened and the ambulance, which costs around $300,000 when new, had to be taken out of service for repairs.
Now, as the SF District Attorney's Office reports in a release, Francisco Vargas-Osorio was arrested for the crime last week. He has now been charged with two counts of attempted murder, two counts of assault with a deadly weapon, carjacking, vandalism, receiving a stolen vehicle, and vehicle theft.
The SFPD hasn't shared details about the investigation that led to Vargas-Osorio's arrest last Thursday, or why it took over three months. But prosecutors sought pre-trial detention in the case — it's unclear if that has been granted by a judge.
"Vargas-Osorio will be held accountable for these crimes, as senseless, unprovoked, violent attacks are completely unacceptable and will not be tolerated,” said District Attorney Brooke Jenkins in a statement. “Although I am grateful no one was harmed, attacking on duty EMTs endangers all of us as we depend on these brave individuals to render life-saving aid when we are at our most vulnerable, and in desperate need of medical attention.”
The SFPD says that while charges have been filed, this remains an active investigation, and anyone with information is asked to call the tip line at 415-575-4444 or text a tip to TIP411 and begin the text message with SFPD. You may remain anonymous.