San Francisco Chronicle

Police seek suspect in beating of man at recall rally

- By Megan Cassidy Megan Cassidy is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer. Email: megan.cassidy@sfchronicl­ Twitter: @meganrcass­idy

San Rafael police are searching for a suspect who was seen punching and kicking an older man while at an event supporting the recall of Gov. Gavin Newsom over the weekend.

Beginning at about 3:20 p.m. Sunday, at least three 911 callers reported a physical altercatio­n on the Coleman pedestrian crossing over the Highway 101 freeway, where people had gathered in support of ousting the governor from office.

Witnesses said the altercatio­n began after the suspect was spotted cutting down banners that the recall supporters had festooned on the bridge’s chain link fence. The victim had confronted the suspect in the process, touching off a verbal argument, police said.

The two men soon began to push each other, police said, with the suspect ultimately punching the victim several times and knocking him to the ground. The suspect then walked back over the bridge to the east side of the overpass, and is believed to have fled in a vehicle in an unknown direction.

Officers who arrived on the scene found the victim on the ground surrounded by several witnesses. The victim was transporte­d to a local hospital to be treated for his injuries.

Police did not have a photo of the suspect, but described him as a 25- to 35-year-old white male, standing at approximat­ely 5 feet 11 inches to 6 feet tall, weighing about 180 to 190 pounds and with shoulder-length curly red or blond hair. He was seen wearing a light-colored, possibly blue or green shirt, blue jeans and blue baseball hat.

Officers are seeking the suspect on charges that may include assault that causes great bodily injury, assault with a deadly weapon, as well as potential charges for cutting down the banner, said San Rafael police Sergeant Justin Graham. Police are urging anyone with informatio­n on the case to contact investigat­ors at 415-485-3000.

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