Muni stabbing suspect makes first court appearance

Police sketch of Muni stabbing suspect

December 3, 2009 5:35:40 PM PST
The man suspected of at least four stabbings in San Francisco, two on the city's Muni system, made his first court appearance since being arrested. And the judge set his bail at a whopping $5 million.

Cameras were not allowed inside the courtroom today because photos of the suspect may be used in more line-ups as prosecutors attempt to connect him to more cases.

Bobby Brown stood behind courtroom doors, handcuffed and heavily guarded.

"He's overwhelmed by all the attention. You could see, just the number of bailiffs in the courtroom," said the suspect's lawyer V. Roy Lefcourt.

The 30-year-old is accused of four stabbings. Police say the first victim was 11-year-old Hatim Mansouri, stabbed while riding a Muni bus in September.

Two others were attacked on city streets.

The most recent victim, according to investigators, 24-year-old Rachel Haynes Brown was attacked with a corkscrew Monday onboard the J-Church metro line. She told ABC7 shortly after the arrest, she's still traumatized.

"It's really traumatizing to be walking down the street and be anxious about people walking behind me, you know?" she said.

The suspect's attorney believes hysteria over those high profile incidents may have led to a rush to judgment.

"Usually the police response is to try to arrest somebody as fast as possible to calm the public's fears. Very often they arrest the wrong person. From our point of view that's what happened," said Lefcourt.

Lefcourt says the sketch and witness descriptions of the attacker don't fit Brown.

"In regards to hair, in regards to height, in regards to skin color," he said.

But the district attorney announced on Wednesday night that what she called a reign of terror is over and prosecutors said again today they are confident in their arrest.

"We looked over the cases yesterday and made a determination we could prove them beyond a reasonable doubt. The cases are strong and we are going forward," said Assistant District Attorney Brian Buckelew.

Regular Muni riders we talked with are relieved an arrest has been made.

"It's a terrible thing. I'm glad he's caught," said a Muni rider.

"They need to have more security on the lines for people like that," said another Muni rider.

Police say Brown could be connected to two other cases or possibly more. They are continuing their investigation. He is due back in court on December 11th.


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