Man arrested after fleeing Safeway fracas

San Francisco police arrested a 32-year-old man on Saturday who crashed into a vehicle containing former state Assemblyman Tom Ammiano as he attempted to flee from police on Saturday.

Police arrested San Francisco resident Ronnie Moody in the South of Market neighborhood shortly after an incident at a Safeway store on Mission Street, San Francisco police spokeswoman Officer Grace Gatpandan.

According to officers at San Francisco’s Ingleside police station, police were already in the parking lot of the Safeway store at 3350 Mission St. between 29th and 30th streets around 5:30 p.m. on Saturday when a concerned citizen alerted them to an altercation inside the grocery store’s bathroom.

The citizen approached two police officers and, pointing to the store, exclaimed, “There’s a woman screaming in the bathroom,” according to the police report.

The officers started walking toward the store when a security guard pointed to a suspect later identified Moody, as he was walking out of the store. The security guard said, “That’s the guy,” at which point the officers ran toward Moody yelling, “Stop. Police. We need to talk to you.”

However, Moody ignored their commands, police said. Instead, he got into a late model Mercedes, started the engine and backed into a parked Honda, almost running over one of the officers who was attempting to stop him from leaving the scene.

Moody sped out of the Safeway parking, narrowly missing passing vehicles and pedestrians, police said. The suspect was seen driving north on the wrong side of San Jose Avenue at high speeds, before turning onto Randall Street, then north on Mission Street. Numerous drivers had to brake in order to avoid collisions with the Mercedes, police said.

Meanwhile, inside the Safeway, officers interviewed several witnesses who said they had heard a woman screaming for help in the store’s restroom and claiming she was being sexually assaulted. Security guards and concerned citizens forced the door of the bathroom open, at which point the suspect escaped.

Gatpandan said two males and a female were inside the bathroom when the door was forced open. Moody fled the store, but another male suspect was detained at the scene. Concerned citizens helped the victim leave the bathroom, but officers were unable to locate the alleged victim.

While police were gathering evidence inside the Safeway and talking to witnesses, it was reported that the driver of the Mercedes had been involved in a traffic collision at Sixth and Mission streets and was apprehended following a brief foot pursuit, according to police.

Moody allegedly struck at least one other vehicle as he was fleeing and then attempted to flee the scene of the traffic collision on foot. Police apprehended him near Sixth and Harrison streets, Gatpandan said.

He was booked into county jail on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon, resisting an executive officer, both felonies, as well as misdemeanor resisting arrest and nine traffic violations, according to Gatpandan. Among the traffic violations issued were failure to stop at stop signs, driving on the wrong side of the road, traveling at excessive speeds, unsafe driving and driving without a front license plate.

Moody’s arraignment is scheduled for Friday at the Hall of Justice, according to the district attorney’s office. Gatpandan said Moody is not facing assault charges related to the incident in the restroom because the alleged female victim left the scene prior to being interviewed by police and has not yet been located. However, she noted that the alleged victim could still come forward, and that she is encouraged to do so.