A San Francisco man has been arrested for allegedly using a car to hit two police officers in the Castro neighborhood this weekend.
Anthony Padmore, 30, was taken into custody Monday, April 21 in Oakland and arrested on charges of two counts of aggravated assault with force likely to cause bodily injury, reckless driving causing bodily injury, battery on a peace officer or emergency personnel, and two counts of resisting or obstructing the duties of a peace officer, according to Sergeant Danielle Newman, a spokeswoman for the San Francisco Police Department. The officers’ injuries weren’t life threatening, police said.
The Oakland Police Department, U.S. marshals, and San Francisco police were involved in taking Padmore into custody, where he remains “on several warrants, including a parole warrant,” Newman said in an email.
The incident started at about 12:35 p.m. Sunday, April 20 after someone reported a “suspicious person” in the 500 block of Castro Street, according to Newman
Padmore had apparently been standing by some ATM machines at a bank. Whenever people withdrew money and walked away, he “would start fiddling with the machine,” likely trying to take advantage of people who hadn’t closed their transactions, Newman said in an interview Monday, April 21.
“This occurred over a period of time,” said Newman, but she didn’t know how long he’d been there before he was reported to police.
As responding officers spoke with Padmore, “he continued to go into his pockets” and “would not follow their orders to keep his hands out of his pockets,” said Newman. When they tried to search him for weapons, he fled to a car parked nearby at 18th and Hartford streets, according to police.
Newman said the car wasn’t locked when Padmore got to it. When the officers went to the car’s doors to try to get him out, “he started the car and started driving” and performing “different maneuvers” including backing up and turning, said Newman.
In a news release Sunday that was based on “very preliminary information,” Newman said “an officer was dragged by the car.” She said Monday that nobody had been dragged under the car, but she declined to say exactly how the officers were injured because she didn’t have first-hand knowledge of the details.
Padmore, whose identity wasn’t released until Wednesday, April 23, managed to drive away. Police looked for him but weren’t immediately able to locate him.
After they completed their reports on the incident, the officers “transported themselves to a hospital,” said Newman. The officers’ injuries weren’t life threatening, but Newman wouldn’t say specifically what their wounds were.
She wouldn’t share the names of the officers, since they’re crime victims in this case.
Newman said she didn’t believe that the officers, who were in uniform, had brandished any weapons at Padmore, and she didn’t know whether Padmore had had any weapons other than the car.
Police have not released Padmore’s booking photo.
“This is still an open and active investigation even though an arrest has been made,” Newman said in an email Wednesday. An arraignment date hasn’t been set, according to a clerk at the public defender’s office.
[Update Thursday, April 24]: Padmore pleaded not guilty Thursday to two counts of assault on a peace officer with a deadly weapon, two counts of battery with injury on emergency personnel, and two counts of threats or force to an executive officer, all felonies; and a misdemeanor count of reckless driving, according to Alex Bastian, a spokesman for the district attorney’s office. His bail was set at $300,000, and his next court date is May 7.
Deputy Public Defender Seth Meisels said he couldn’t comment on the case because he hasn’t had an opportunity to review the evidence.
Patrick Bowers, 48, said he was tending bar Sunday at Moby Dick, near the corner of 18th and Hartford streets, when he heard tires squeal.
“I looked up and saw tires spinning, coming toward the bar,” said Bowers. He said the car stopped diagonally in the intersection “a couple yards short of the curb.” The car “stalled out,” he said.
“There was a police officer half in the window of the car, struggling with the driver” as the driver tried to restart the car, he said. Another officer quickly joined in the struggle, and they repeatedly yelled for the driver to “get out of the car.”
The officers failed to get the driver out of the car, and he eventually was able to restart it.
“Once he got it started he whipped around again, pointed at the bar, took a hard left and got himself on 18th, driving quickly away,” headed east on Noe Street, said Bowers. “That motion, that jerking away, threw the police officers out.”
As the car jerked into motion, he said, “I think [the officers] landed running a little bit,” letting go rather than hanging on to the driver and the car. One of the officers was “limping,” and “they looked like they’d been roughed up a little bit,” he said. One of the officers “may have been on the ground,” he said, but he wasn’t sure.
Bowers said the incident was “surreal,” and he and others who witnessed the incident “were all a little shook up. It was so out of the blue to see that happen to a couple of SFPD officers. It was a little shocking.” [End update]