Bicyclist arrested for alleged assault on Muni driver

A bicyclist suspected of attacking a San Francisco Municipal Railway bus driver earlier this month has been arrested, police said.

Sami Tapio Tuomivaara was arrested Nov. 21 after officers identified him from security video that recorded the Nov. 14 attack.

The Muni driver in that case, a 53-year-old Fairfield woman, was struck several times in the head by a bicyclist who boarded the bus at Fourth and Townsend streets around 8:50 a.m.

The driver told police the bicyclist had passed the bus shortly beforehand and made an obscene gesture in her direction.

She was taken to a hospital for treatment but is expected to survive her injuries.

The suspect was described as a white male between 40 and 50 years old who is 5 feet 8 to 5 feet 10 inches tall and 150 to 160 pounds, with sandy hair and blue-green eyes.

He was last seen riding a dark-colored foldup-style bicycle and wearing a red Georgia Bulldogs jacket and a bright orange bicycle helmet with a sticker that read, “Bike Lover, Save Water.”

Police said Tuomivaara was riding his bike when officers spotted him in the area of Fourth and Townsend. He initially fled from police, but was eventually picked up in the 600 block of 16th Street in a coordinated effort with University of California at San Francisco police.

San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency director of transit John Haley applauded the arrest.

“Muni transit operators have very demanding jobs,” Haley said in a joint statement with police. “Their focus should be on safely carrying 700,000 passengers a day, not on having to defend themselves from violent assaults.”

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