A preliminary investigation revealed Kenneth Rotter allegedly drove his vehicle onto the sidewalk on the 400 block of Castro Street, hitting parking meters and trees, police said.
Next, Rotter stopped, backed into a deli and then drove off the sidewalk and down 18th Street southbound, according to police. He drove around the block, running stop signs and sometimes driving on the wrong side of the street, police said.
The suspect didn't hit any pedestrians and no other vehicles were damaged, according to police.
Rotter faces multiple charges including attempted murder, hit and run, and driving under the influence.
VIDEO: Man drives on San Francisco sidewalk
Video captured on cellphone shows the horrifying moments as bystanders can be heard yelling "get out of the way" of the van's path.
"He was moving slowly enough where people were trying to open the door and trying to get the driver out because he wasn't stopping," said witness, Paul Schiavoni.
Bay City News contributed to this report.