Man dies in Fisherman's Wharf stabbing

Image 1 of 2

A 44-year-old man died in a stabbing at San Francisco's Fisherman's Wharf, a broad-daylight attack in one of the city's most popular spots for tourists, police said Thursday.

The victim, identified as Brook Pettyjohn, died after being stabbed at about 1:30 p.m. Wednesday in a parking lot at Jefferson and Taylor streets.

"Upon arrival, they found a man who was laying on his side with several stab wounds to his body," said Officer Joseph Tomlinson, a San Francisco police spokesman. "Unfortunately, that victim died of his injuries."

Police arrested Bruce Edward Penn, 56, on suspicion of murder and assault a few blocks away. Penn is being held without bail at San Francisco County Jail.

A witness, Soda Pop Jones, a manager at the Ripley's Believe it Or Not Odditorium, told KTVU that he had seen the victim moments before the attack.

"He came in, he gave me a fist-bump behind the counter, walked across the street and apparently got into a fight with somebody," Jones said. "After I saw the fight go down, he began walking away, kind of blood pouring out of his side, and we called 911."

Pettyjohn has had a few brushes with the law. A man who wished to be identified only as James said Pettyjohn had been in and out of jail for public intoxication. He said the victim had a mean streak and was known for stealing beer at the CVS Pharmacy store and getting into fights.

Still, James said, Pettyjohn's slaying came as a shock.

"It breaks my heart," James said. "He drank a lot,  you know, and he was obnoxious, but he didn't deserve to die."

He said the victim had lived in Santa Cruz and Anchorage, enjoyed fishing and spoke of sadness over not being able to see his daughter.

Jones said he had known the victim for a couple of weeks and that he had never been a problem to the Ripley's staff.

"We never had any personal issues with him over here, so we were pretty alright with him," Jones said.