The Berkeley Police Department is announcing the arrest of a suspect following an apparent random knife attack on an AC Transit bus on Monday night, August 11, 2014, along San Pablo Avenue near Chaucer.
On August 11, at about 9:50 PM, witnesses flagged down a Berkeley Police Sergeant near San Pablo and Bancroft. They reported a knife attack just prior on an AC Transit bus, and pointed out the suspect. The Sergeant confronted the suspect at gunpoint, and, with the assistance of other officers, placed him in handcuffs and detained him.
Officers determined the suspect had been riding on the bus, when, for no apparent reason, he attacked another passenger. Witnesses reported the suspect walked down the aisle, pulled out a knife, said, “watch this,” and suddenly stabbed at a 21 year old woman seated nearby. Another passenger immediately took action, striking the suspect with his skateboard repeatedly and continuously, distracting the suspect from his attack.
Even with the good Samaritan intervening, the suspect was so determined he broke away several times to keep attacking the victim. The suspect ultimately fled from the bus, which had pulled over near San Pablo Ave. near Chaucer, and was detained within moments by the Sergeant.
The victim suffered serious but non-life-threatening injuries, and was transported to a local hospital. There is no apparent motive for the attack. The investigation into the attack is continuing.
Based on the investigation and witness accounts, the actions of the passenger, a 25 year old male, who intervened without hesitation in the attack, were potentially life-saving.
Following the investigation, officers arrested Eric Palmer, a 24 year old male, of Berkeley, for attempted murder and assault with a deadly weapon. Palmer was booked into the Berkeley City Jail and will be arraigned on Thursday.