SAN FRANCISCO - San Francisco police have a suspect in custody after a robbery Tuesday morning. The victim in this case was of Asian ancestry, but at this point, police say that doesn't appear to be the motivating factor.
A witness said the suspect was stopped by a good Samaritan.
Police said shortly after 7:15 a.m., an elderly woman said a man picked up a bag she had set on the ground and began walking away with it.
She followed, demanding he drop her bag. Police said instead, he began reaching into the bag and throwing the items inside at her.
"At some point, the suspect made swinging gestures as if he was going to strike the victim and also made some threats to the victim," said Officer Robert Rueca of the San Francisco Police Department. "The victim was not injured, nor was she touched in the incident."
Witnesses said given recent incidents, they're concerned any time the victim in a case is of Asian ancestry.
"Now it seems like everyone has got it in their head, let's jump an Asian person. Let's beat up, stab an elderly lady at a bus stop," said David Murray of San Francisco.
Police said at this time there is no indication that race played a role in this case.
Investigators said the quick response of a bystander who came to the woman's aid may have made the difference here.
That witness stayed with the victim helping her follow the suspect and identify him to police.
"In this case, this witness was able to go to the aid of the victim and continue to follow the suspect with the victim, and maybe that was the reason why the victim wasn't hurt in this case," said Officer Rueca.
So far police aren't releasing any information about the suspect in this case, only that he is a 30-year-old man from San Francisco. The suspect's mental health status, is under investigation and police are looking to see if there is a pattern to his behavior.