Fearing their key witness could soon die, San Francisco cops brought their main suspect to the hospital for a cold show — a “rare” move that helped lead to an arrest, police said Tuesday.
Bernardo Robleto, 38, of San Francisco was booked on charges of felony assault with a deadly weapon soon after police found a 21-year-old man with knife wounds to his neck and back around 11:30 p.m. Monday near the Sunnyside Recreation Center.
Someone heard Robleto arguing with the victim before the bloody assault in the parking lot of the Kwik and Convenient store at 600 Monterey Blvd., police Lt. Troy Dangerfield said. The person heard someone yell, “Oh, my God, somebody help!” and saw one of the men on top of the other, Dangerfield said.
The attacker fled on foot northbound on Foerster Street. The victim drove off in a black Ford Mustang. Another person called police to the 200 block of Acadia Street, near the crime scene. Responding officers found the injured man and had him taken to San Francisco General Hospital with life-threatening stab wounds, Dangerfield said.
His condition was not immediately known Tuesday, Dangerfield said.
After cops got a description of the suspect, two officers scoured the neighborhood and found Robleto in the area of Foerster Street and Mangels Avenue. Police found evidence that he was the attacker, including a bloody knife, Dangerfield said.
Police brought Robleto to the hospital, where the victim positively identified him, Dangerfield said.
“It’s rare, [but officers will bring suspects to the hospital] especially if the victim could possibly die,” he said.
Robleto and the victim both live near the Kwik and Convenient, police said.
Bal Krishan, who runs the store, said he’s known both men for years. He said he thinks Robleto’s mental state has been in decline, possibly since he lost his job with The City about three years ago.
“He argues with people over nothing,” Krishan said.
Krishan described the victim as a nice man who was raised in the neighborhood and never causes problems.
Police have not stated a motive for the stabbing.