A California Highway Patrol officer was stabbed Tuesday morning on a highway on-ramp in the South of Market neighborhood, authorities said.
The officer was stabbed in his upper torso and neck area on the Essex Street entrance to eastbound Interstate 80 about 10 a.m., Capt. Christopher Sherry, commander of California Highway Patrol, San Francisco, said at a press conference.
“It looks like he’s going to be OK,” Sherry said. “We don’t know for sure.”
The suspect was later identified as 44-year-old Noel Corpuz, police said. Corpuz was booked into County Jail on suspicion of attempted murder, aggravated assault and resisting arrest.
The altercation started when the officer and his partner responded to a report of a man wandering onto the on-ramp about 9:30 a.m., Sherry said. CHP believe the man was homeless because he was adjacent to an encampment on the on-ramp.
When the CHP officers approached the man, he attacked one of the officers and they began to struggle, Sherry said. The suspect ran away with the other officer chasing after him on foot, until he realized his partner was not participating in the pursuit.
It turned out the other officer had “some pretty significant injuries” from the struggle and needed aid, Sherry said. “This type of incident really just shocks us.”
During his arrest, Corpuz unsuccessfully tried to unholster one of the officer’s guns, according to police.
The officer, a seven-year veteran of the CHP, was rushed to San Francisco General Hospital by a fire department ambulance about 10:10 a.m. with life-threatening injuries.
About 12 minutes later, San Francisco police detained a suspect in the stabbing in a Wells Fargo parking lot on Fourth and Brannan streets. Officer Albie Esparza, an SFPD spokesperson, said the suspect was inside the bank when police located him.
Although officers did not comment on the weapon that was used, investigators at the scene recovered a large knife and placed it into evidence.
Witness Holly Jones was in the Starbucks, next to the Wells Fargo, when she saw police officers tackle the suspect outside the building. “He was running out of the building,” Jones said.
Several South of Market intersections were cordoned off into the early afternoon, including Fourth Street, from Brannan to Bryant streets, as well as the area of Essex and Harrison streets.
The officer is expected to survive and is in stable condition.
“It’s very traumatic for our officers on scene who are there with their friend,” Sherry said. “We are hoping good thoughts and prayers for the officer.”
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