San Francisco, CA – A San Francisco police officer was violently attacked by a suspect in Chinatown on Friday night (video below).
Witnesses said the suspect, later identified as Geraldo Contreras, had been in the area one day earlier telling people he “specializes in killing Asian people,” KABC reported.
When Contreras returned to the area on May 28, he tried to assault several women, according to a woman who called 911.
A female San Francisco police officer responded to the intersection of Commercial and Kearny near Portsmouth Square just before 7 p.m., KNTV reported.
The officer, who happens to be Asian, approached the suspect and told him to face away from her and to place his hands on his head, security footage showed.
Contreras initially appeared to comply with the officer.
The officer slung the less-lethal rifle she was carrying over her shoulder as she came up behind him and asked him if was carrying any weapons, the video showed.
Contreras denied having any weapons, then ignored the officer’s commands to turn around and to keep his hands on his head.
He pivoted and grabbed on to her, shoving her to the ground and pinning her beneath him, the video showed.
The suspect held the flailing officer by her throat, grabbed her hair, and bashed her head off of the pavement as multiple bystanders rushed to her aid.
“Get off of her, -sshole!” one Good Samaritan said. “Get the hell off of her!”
At least four people could be seen trying to pull Contreras off of the officer.
Among them was Michael Waldorf, who said he had just wrapped up dinner with his family at a nearby restaurant when the attack occurred, KABC reported.
“He’s a big guy, he was not letting go. He had a deathtrap on her. And he was not letting go,” Waldorf said. “I saw it as an emergency. She needed our help and she needed it right away.”
Some of the Good Samaritans appeared to deliver multiple blows to the suspect’s head and face during the brawl, the video showed.
They managed to get the officer out from beneath the suspect, then wrestled him onto his stomach just as additional officers swooped in.
“I’m okay! Let me go!” Contreras yelled as he continued resisting their efforts to arrest him.
The officer was transported to the hospital for treatment of non-life threatening injuries, KNTV reported.
Sources said she suffered minor injuries and a bloody nose in the attack, according to KABC.
The San Francisco Police Officers Association (POA) said the officer was forced to respond to the call alone due to a manpower shortage.
“We’ve seen a rise in violent attacks by homeless individuals, including attacks on police officers,” the POA tweeted. “We are deeply grateful to these citizens who rushed to our officer’s aide. Our staffing shortage left this officer working alone instead of with a partner.”
Contreras has previously been arrested on a slew of violent charges, including assaults on law enforcement officers, elder abuse, and aggravated assault, KABC reported.
It is unclear whether or not he has ever been convicted.
“He should not be let out,” Waldorf told KABC after learning about the suspect’s violent past. “Some people are not safe for society and he clearly is not. I know this is just a snapshot of a person’s life, but you have to look at someone’s record and make a judgement.”
He said he is relieved to know the officer is going to be okay, and said he is thankful for her service to the community.
Watch the incident unfold in the video below. Warning – Graphic Content:
In the great free state of Florida people carry. There have been many instances of armed civilians coming to the aid of officers under attack. We are all grateful for civilians placing themselves in harms way to save our heroes.
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