sfpd_squad.jpg5:53 PM (BCN): San Francisco police today arrested a 39-year-old Albany man for a series of hit-and-run attacks that injured four male bicyclists Wednesday night.

Police have not yet released the name of the man, who they said had not yet been medically cleared for booking and was at the hospital for a medical and psychological evaluation.

“We have significant evidence to believe that this individual’s the suspect,” Police Chief George Gascon said at a news conference late this afternoon at police headquarters. He said a motive was still not known.

The four bicyclists were all struck within a six-minute period between 9:43 p.m. and 9:49 p.m. in the city’s Mission and Potrero Hill neighborhoods.

Three of the victims, men of ages ranging from the 20s to 40s, were hospitalized. One who had been listed in critical condition was upgraded today to serious, San Francisco General Hospital spokeswoman Rachael Kagan said today. The other two remain in serious and fair condition, she said.

The bicyclists were hit by a blue Nissan Rogue sport-utility vehicle in the 2700 block of Harrison Street, in the 2800 block of Harrison Street, at the intersection of 23rd and Pennsylvania streets and at 17th and Missouri streets, according to police.

After the last collision, the Rogue crashed into a parked car and hit a pole. The driver, described only as a white male, then got out and ran.

Police have said that based on accounts of the victims and of witnesses, it appeared the bicyclists were deliberately targeted.

According to some accounts, the suspect was seen driving on the wrong side of the road and the car’s engine was roaring as it came at the bicyclist, according to Sgt. Jon Kasper, an investigator in the case.

Gascon said the four bicyclists had been “basically mowed down.”

Investigators at the scene of the final attack found a wallet and keys belonging to the registered owner of the Nissan Rogue inside the car, as well as a cell phone, according to Kasper.

Police attempted to track the owner down, but found he had moved from the address listed for the vehicle and were unable to reach him by phone, Kasper said.

The case broke earlier today when the man went to the Albany Police Department to report his vehicle had been stolen in a carjacking in San Francisco.

Police determined his account to be a lie and he was arrested at the police department at about 1 p.m., Kasper said.

The man is expected to be booked on four counts each of attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon and felony hit-and-run, police said.

Prosecutors will review the case for charging early next week, according to the district attorney’s office.

Mayor Gavin Newsom and the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition have condemned the attacks, noting ongoing efforts to make San Francisco one of the most bike-friendly cities in the country.

5:30 PM: KCBS and the Chron are reporting that SFPD have arrested an Albany man they suspect is responsible for intentionally striking four cyclists with his car Wednesday night.

The Chron says police have not released the 40 year old suspect’s name because he is being “medically evaluated” for psychological and other problems and has not been booked. He was arrested, they report at about 1 p.m. this afternoon after making a carjacking report at the Albany Police Department. He was arrested on four counts each of attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon and felony hit and run.

Police hope to release the name and photo of the man this weekend.

2:15 PM: SFPD spokesperson Lt. Lyn Tomioka just sent a release to media saying that Chief Gascon will be holding a press conference at 4:30 this afternoon “to release details on an arrest the has been made in the assaults on four bicyclists, as well as other major cases that are being investigated.”

“No details will be available prior to the conference.” She warns. Guess we’ll have to wait and see?

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.

Please make sure your comment adheres to our comment policy. If it doesn't, it may be deleted. Repeat violations may cause us to revoke your commenting privileges. No one wants that!