Two weeks after a man got off his bike and boarded a bus to beat the driver, police on Monday say that they have arrested a suspect — one who might be tied to additional incidents.
The 52-year-old driver says the suspect — described as a man between 40-50 years old with sandy hair and blue-green eyes — had biked past her bus and made an obscene hand gesture before the attack on Nov. 14. At the bus stop outside the Caltrain station at Fourth and Townsend Streets, the man got off his bicycle, stepped onto the bus and struck the driver several times in the head before fleeing, police say.
Police arrived around 8:50 a.m. and later identified the suspect as Sami Tapio Tuomivaara. The bus driver, a Fairfield resident, was sent to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
“Muni transit operators have very demanding jobs,” SFMTA Director of Transit John Haley says in a statement. “Their focus should be on safely carrying 700,000 passengers a day, not on having to defend themselves from violent assaults.”
On Nov. 21, officers spotted Tuomivaara — last seen wearing a red Georgia Bulldogs jacket and bright orange bike helmet with a sticker that reads “Bike Lover, Save Water” while riding a dark-colored foldup bicycle — when surveilling Fourth and Townsend Streets. Tuomivaara fled and police caught him near University of California San Francisco on 16th Street.
Tuomivaara may be linked to other incidents around the city, SFPD spokesperson Officer Robert Rueca says. To provide possible additional information on this suspect, contact the SFPD anonymous tip line at 415-575-4444 or text ‘SFPD’ to TIP411.