San Francisco police make arrest in attack on Asian victims

SFPD Generic

San Francisco police say they have made an arrest in an apparently unprovoked street attack on three Asian victims.

A police statement Wednesday says 43-year-old Michael Lopez was booked for investigation of assault, hate crime enhancement, possession of suspected meth and other crimes.

Police say investigators are trying to determine if racial bias was a motive, although the victims reported no hate speech was uttered.

The victims reported the attacks to officers who responded Monday at Polk and Clay streets.

Police say one victim reported witnessing the suspect following two unknown Asian females. When the women started to run from the suspect he threw an object at the females, hitting one of them in the back. The suspect turned his attention to the witness and made a threat of violence.

When the victim feared for their safety, they used pepper spray to fend off the attacker. The suspect retrieved a broomstick during the altercation. The victim fended off the suspect with a second dose of pepper spray.

Police say the suspect turned his attention to a second victim, who a homeless man. The second victim told police he was attacked without provocation by the suspect while he was laying on the sidewalk. A witness intervened, but was also attacked with the broomstick by the suspect. Both the second and third victims were treated at the scene for non-life threatening injuries. 

Police are seeking to identify and speak with the two female victims the suspect initially threw an object at. 

It wasn't immediately known if Lopez had a lawyer to speak on his behalf. 

KTVU contributed to this story.