SAN FRANCISCO (KTVU) – A Fairfield man has been arrested in the brutal assault on a San Francisco homeless man with a metal pipe that was caught on video, authorities said Friday.
San Francisco police said Arthur Lee Jones Jr., 37, was in custody for the assault.
Police released the video on Thursday evening in the hopes that someone would recognize the attacker, who can be seen calmly walking away from the victim in the video as he falls to the ground.
San Francisco Police Department spokesman Officer Carlos Manfredi says he had interacted many times with the homeless man.
He says the man usually sat on the block of Larkin near Geary, which he called the four corners of his world.
"If you would see him on the street and say hi to him, he'd say hi to you back without any hesitation," Manfredi told KTVU.
Police say the victim had to get more than 50 stitches in his head after the assault. The attack happened about 9:15 p.m. Wednesday.
The homeless man was sitting on a bucket on Larkin Street outside the Gangway Bar.
In the video, a man in a blue shirt appears on the corner of Geary and walks down Larkin Street on the sidewalk.
When he reached the victim, he suddenly pulls out what appears to be a pipe, whacking the homeless man in the head.
Video from another surveillance camera shows him turning the corner into an alley passing people and never looking back.
Justin Cunningham, one of the victim's friends told KTVU he was standing nearby.
"I heard the noise of the thunk and that was the pipe hitting the guy's head," Cunningham told KTVU.
"When you see an act so blatant and so raw, like this, it's uncalled for. In San Francisco we want to send a message to everybody who lives in the city or visits the city, if you attack the homeless, there's going to be a consequence," said Officer Manfredi.
In the minutes before the attack, the surveillance video shows the suspect walking past the homeless man several times.