Suspect in brutal attack of homeless man arrested

A 35-year-old Fairfield man was arrested Thursday on suspicion of seriously injuring a homeless man in San Francisco’s Tenderloin neighborhood during a vicious attack caught on video Wednesday night, police said.

The suspect, identified as Arthur Lee Jones, was detained Thursday by a police officer who recognized him from surveillance video footage of the assault, San Francisco police Officer Carlos Manfredi said today.

Manfredi said the victim is a homeless man in his 50s, who he knows personally and remembers well from his own days on patrol in the Tenderloin neighborhood.

According to Manfredi, the victim was quiet, respectful and well liked in the community:

“He is not the kind of person that would be aggressive or violent in any way.”

The victim was assaulted at 9:21 p.m. Wednesday as he was sitting outside a bar at the intersection of Larkin Street and Geary Boulevard, police said.

The video, which was made public by police in an effort to catch the assailant, captures the brutal attack. Manfredi said that in the video, the suspect walks casually on the sidewalk toward the victim and then suddenly reveals a blunt metal object and takes “a full batter’s swing,” striking the victim directly on the side of his head.

Manfredi said the victim was rendered unconscious by the blow and was immediately transported to San Francisco General Hospital for emergency treatment.

The lost a significant amount of blood and received over 50 stitches to his head. He remains in critical condition and his vitals are not stable, Manfredi said.

The suspect left the scene following the attack and was not located that night.

Police released the video to the public in hopes of getting more information about the suspect, Manfredi said. At about 10:45 p.m. on Thursday, an officer in the Tenderloin saw the suspect at the same intersection where the assault had taken place the night before.

The officer apprehended Jones and took him into custody.

He was booked into county jail on suspicion of attempted murder and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, according to Manfredi.

A booking photo of the suspect is not being released at this time so as not to interfere with the investigation. Manfredi said he is pleased that police were able to apprehend the suspect in this “heinous” crime.

Everyone has a right to feel safe, he said, “regardless of whether or not someone is homeless.”