Chase slows earlyMuni commute

Two men — one chasing the other — jumped onto the San Francisco Municipal Railway tracks and ran into a downtown tunnel Monday, ending in an arrest and a transit slowdown that vexed morning commuters.

San Francisco police Sgt. Wilfred Williams said the 8 a.m. incident appeared to begin at the Civic Center station when 41-year-old El Sobrante resident Jimmy Johnson began running on the tracks toward the Powell Street station with another man in pursuit.

“The incident was reported to the police by Muni,” Williams said. “It appeared one man was running from the other.”

Responding officers arrested Johnson on suspicion of “acts against public transit,” Williams said. The other man escaped.

The incident caused citywide service problems between 8 and 9 a.m. Muni officials ran trains in the slower manual mode as a precaution, Muni spokesman Judson True said.

“This is an unfortunate example of the sort of incidents that have ripple effects throughout the system,” True said. “All the metro lines run through this part of the subway.”

Commuters reported delays of up to 45 minutes. The incident follows a service breakdown on the J-Church line during the height of Wednesday’s evening commute. Motor coach shuttles were provided between Duboce Avenue and 22nd Street after overhead wire damage shut down the J-Church for nearly one hour at Church and Market streets.

tbarak@sfexaminer.com

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