sfpd_arrestcuffs.jpgPolice arrested 36-year-old Mark Anthony Cassell on Wednesday in connection with the murder of 77-year-old newspaper vendor Dallas Ayers in San Francisco on Jan. 28.

San Francisco police in the Tenderloin district recognized Cassell through a department-wide crime bulletin.

Cassell was taken into custody and booked into San Francisco County Jail on murder charges, police said.

According to the police investigation, the attack occurred at about 11 a.m. on Jan. 28 in front of One Post St., about one block from Market Street.

The suspect approached Ayers, wrapped his arms around the victim’s waist, picked him up in the air and dropped him onto the ground. The suspect then fled the scene, police said.

Ayers was immediately transported to a nearby hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries on Feb. 21, police and medical examiner’s officials said.

A vigil for the deceased was held on Feb. 28, outside the newspaper stand where Ayers worked and where he was fatally injured during the attack.

At the vigil, the Archdiocese of San Francisco lit candles, prayed and sang outside the San Francisco Chronicle newspaper stand where Ayers worked, located inside the Montgomery BART and Municipal Railway station.

Ayers had been working as a newspaper vendor for about 30 years and was on his midday break at the time of the attack, said Dave Ellis, a business representative with Teamsters Local 853, the union representing the vendors.

Anyone with additional information about the homicide is asked to call the San Francisco Police Department’s homicide detail at (415) 553-1145, the department’s anonymous tip line at (415) 575-4444 or to send a tip by text message to TIP411 with “SFPD” in the message.

Hannah Albarazi, Bay City News

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