A man was arrested on suspicion of assaulting a police officer Tuesday at the Main Library after allegedly trying to steal an iPad, multiple sources told The San Francisco Examiner on Thursday.
Chris Jones, 25, was reportedly trying to steal an iPad on the fifth floor of the facility in what library officials call the newsstand area.
Witnesses reported that Jones was using some type of tool to disconnect the iPad from the table it was tethered to, Officer Gordon Shyy said.
The iPad that Jones was allegedly trying to steal was part of the library’s eNewsCenter, which provides tablets that can only access newspaper content, library spokeswoman Michelle Jeffers said Thursday.
A source inside the library told The Examiner that at one point while trying to unscrew the iPad, Jones pounded the table with some type of tool and swore in a loud voice.
After security was notified, a guard contacted a police officer stationed at the library and they went to investigate, Shyy said.
When they confronted the suspect, he reportedly ran down to the third floor and took off his baseball cap to try and blend in with the crowd, according to a source at the library.
He was apprehended on the third floor and sources said he was wearing a pouch that contained a variety of tools.
When they walked him to the security office, Jones reportedly put on blue bike gloves and refused to provide any sort of identification. The officer attempted to get Jones into the office and he resisted.
Then, according to a source at the library, Jones ran up the stairs toward the Grove Street entrance. The officer and two library security guards ran after him. It was at this time that the officer was punched several times in the face and head, Shyy said.
Ultimately, backup police officers arrived and helped subdue the suspect, with the assistance of library security.
The officer was taken to the hospital for his injuries, which were minor.
Jones also requested to be taken to the hospital, Shyy said. After he was cleared out of the hospital, he was booked into County Jail on numerous charges.
The District Attorney’s Office charged Jones with one felony count of assault on an officer, one felony count of threats to an executive officer, misdemeanor commercial shoplifting, misdemeanor possession of burglary tools and misdemeanor giving a false identity to police, Assistant District Attorney Alex Bastian said.
Jones was expected to be arraigned on the charges Thursday, but his arraignment was put over until Friday, Bastian said. He remains in custody on $170,000 bail.
The incident was a surprise to library officials, who said that with new security staffing and resources that criminal and nuisance instances were down.
“We’ve seen incidents go way down after adopting a new code of conduct,” Jeffers said. “We just haven’t had things where the police have gotten involved.”
Earlier this month, the City Controller’s Office issued a report at the request of the library to analyze its security system. The analysis found that the library failed to deploy security staff appropriately and that security was inadequately staffed. The report also found that the most dangerous times at the library are in the afternoon.