San Francisco police said Wednesday they have made an arrest in an apparently unprovoked street attack on three Asian victims.
Michael Lopez, 43, was booked at San Francisco County Jail for investigation of assault with a deadly weapon, assault and battery, a hate crime enhancement and possession of suspected methamphetamines and narcotic paraphernalia, a police statement said.
“Though the victims reported that no hate speech was uttered, investigators are working to determine if racial bias was a motivating factor in the incident,” the statement said.
It wasn’t immediately known if Lopez had a lawyer to speak on his behalf.
The incident occurred just before 8 a.m. Monday at Polk and Clay streets where three victims reported to officers they were physically attacked.
Police say one of the victims saw someone following two Asian females and throw something that hit one of them in the back as they ran away.
The person then turned and uttered threats against the witness, who pepper-sprayed him. The asailant then got a broomstick and approached while uttering threats and again was pepper-sprayed, police said.
A homeless man lying on the sidewalk and another person who came to his aid were also attacked, police said.
Two victims were treated at the scene for injuries. The victim who was equipped with pepper spray was not injured.
Police said investigators want to speak to the unknown females who fled at the beginning of the incident and asked for the public’s help identifying them.