5:41 PM: According to a release from SFPD this afternoon, Bobby Brown (will we go to hell for linking to this? Or this? Are you sure? Because we have been listening to them since, um, 4:38 this afternoon.), the recently-arrested suspect in Monday’s J Church stabbing, was initially detained then released after the September stabbing of 11 year old Hatim Mansori. From the release:

It should be noted that the suspect Brown was one of approximately a dozen suspects who were initially detained in the stabbing of an 11 year old boy on September 1st, 2009. The victim in that case was unable to identify the suspect in the case. Lacking identification and physical evidence, Brown was booked on an outstanding warrant for indecent exposure. Brown remains a suspect in that case which remains active and open at this time.

5:05 PM (BCN):San Francisco police have arrested a man suspected of stabbing a woman on a San Francisco Municipal Railway train Monday.

Police detained Bobby Brown, 30, a transient, at about 8 a.m. today at 31st Avenue and Judah Street in the Sunset District, police spokesman Sgt. Wilfred Williams said.

Brown is suspected in the stabbing of 24-year-old Rachel Haynes-Brown on Monday morning on a J-Church train near Church and Market streets.

In a combined statement from Mayor Gavin Newsom’s office, the Police Department and Muni this afternoon, Newsom praised police “for their quick work in apprehending” Brown.

“This excellent police work demonstrates our renewed commitment to the safety of Muni riders and all San Francisco residents and visitors,” police Chief George Gascon said. He added that video surveillance from the Muni train was “tremendously beneficial to our investigation.”

Muni Executive Director Nathaniel Ford said his agency would continue to work closely with police “to make sure the Muni system is safe and secure for our customers.”

Police said Monday that the suspect had no interaction with Haynes-Brown before the stabbing and no words were exchanged. He then left the train at the next stop.

San Francisco General Hospital spokeswoman Rachael Kagan said today that Haynes-Brown, of San Francisco, suffered two stab wounds, one superficial, the other more serious, to her left side, but did not require surgery.

She is now in good condition and is expected to leave the hospital today, Kagan said.

Police said the suspect in Monday’s stabbing resembled the “scruffy-looking” man with a strong body odor who stabbed an 11-year-old boy, Hatim Mansori, on a Muni bus in the Mission District on Sept. 1.

An investigation is ongoing into whether Brown is a suspect in that stabbing, Williams said.

4:38 PM: The Chron’s updated their story. In the revised version, the suspect, is named Bobby Brown, and is a 30-year-old transient. (You guys will let us know when it’s Ok to start making Bell Biv Devoe jokes, right?)

He was arrested on the street alongside the N Judah tracks (should that make us feel better or worse about the N?). he’s being held on attempted murder and “other charges” after yesterday’s attack on Rachel “Ty” Brown. The Chronicle helpfully points out that “the suspect and the victim are not related.”

4:06 PM: And now Gavin’s got to weigh in! He just released a statement (from Bangalore! Where it is 5:36 AM tomorrow!) that says:

“I would like to applaud the San Francisco Police Department for their quick work in apprehending a suspect and the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency for their collaboration with the Police Department in the investigation,” said Mayor Gavin Newsom. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to the victim and we wish her a speedy recovery.”

“This excellent police work demonstrates our renewed commitment to the safety of Muni riders and all San Francisco residents and visitors,” said SFPD Chief George Gascn. “The video surveillance from the Muni vehicle was also tremendously beneficial to our investigation.”

“We are thankful a suspect is in custody and that the video from our light rail vehicle was helpful to the SFPD’s investigation of this senseless attack,” said SFMTA Executive Director/CEO Nathaniel P. Ford Sr. “We will continue to work closely with our police partners to make sure the Muni system is safe and secure for our customers.”

3 PM: The Chronicle has confirmed that Taraval Station Officers Felix Gasanyan and Maria Donati arrested a suspect in yesterday’s J Church stabbing at 8 a.m. at 31st and Judah streets. “They were on the Muni streetcar routes in hopes of finding him,” the Chronicle quotes Lt. Michael Connolly as saying. That’s right, the N fucking Judah.

But put away your pitchforks, villagers: as we note below, Another man matching this description was arrested earlier, so please, keep being careful out there, OK?

2:56 PM: From a tipster we trust a great deal: “I can tell you from an inside SFPD source that it is true, the police have the stabbing suspect.” However, we’ve still not heard from SFPD, so this is all rumor at this point.

2:24 PM: We don’t know. But ABC7 is tweeting that “SF police have a suspect in custody for yesterday’s Muni stabbing.”

However, we just called SFPD’s public information line and the person to whom we spoke only transferred us to voicemail, and the Appeal’s Chris Roberts, who is presently at today’s SFMTA meeting, hasn’t heard this reported there. But he also says that the Examiner’s Will Reisman “booked out of the meeting real fast,” so perhaps the SFPD’s returning their calls a little more quickly than ours.

We’ve been through this before: a few weeks ago, a man who resembled the attacker of 11 year old Hatim Mansori (another Muni stabbing) was arrested for yet another stabbing (my god there is a lot of stabbing going on, can someone please do something about this?), but was not the man responsible for Mansori’s attack. Apparently, there is more than one black, smelly guy in the city!

What we do know, according to Chris Roberts: there’s a city-wide manhunt on for the suspect, with 60 SFPD officers looking for a man described as a 25- to 40-year-old black man, about 6 feet tall with a full beard and a “bad body odor.” He was wearing a black sweatshirt, a black jacket over the sweatshirt, and a black do-rag on his head.

In any case, as soon as we know more, so will you.

the author

Eve Batey is the editor and publisher of the San Francisco Appeal. She used to be the San Francisco Chronicle's Deputy Managing Editor for Online, and started at the Chronicle as their blogging and interactive editor. Before that, she was a co-founding writer and the lead editor of SFist. She's been in the city since 1997, presently living in the Outer Sunset with her husband, cat, and dog. You can reach Eve at eve@sfappeal.com.

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