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Thursday, June 18, 2009

Sketch Released of Alleged Assailant in Fatal SOMA Mugging -- And He Looks Like Mario Van Peebles

Posted By on Thu, Jun 18, 2009 at 12:01 AM

The man on the left is the suspect for a fatal April mugging; at right is his buddy
  • The man on the left is the suspect for a fatal April mugging; at right is his buddy
Police on Wednesday released the above sketch of the mugger who may be responsible for the death of 63-year-old Helen Canafax, and the alleged mugger's pal (right).

SF Weekly has written a bit about Canafax, a woman known for her lifelong generosity to the homeless. Several weeks after a violent purse-snatching in front of 680 Folsom Street, she died on May 2 after a blood clot became lodged in her heart; the pulmonary embolism could well have been caused by the broken hip she sustained during the robbery. The San Francisco Police Department sees it that way, and has assigned homicide detectives Rick Martin and John Cleary to the case.

click to enlarge Helen Canafax
  • Helen Canafax
In May, Martin told SF Weekly that he was crossing his fingers that

he'd already busted the man who mugged Canafax for an unrelated felony

offense. Neither Martin nor Cleary have yet returned our calls, but the

release of these sketches would indicate that Martin's finger-crossing

may not have done him much good.

If either of the two faces above ring a bell -- and, for the life of

us, the alleged assailant is a dead ringer for actor and director Mario

Van Peebles -- please call the aforementioned detectives at (415)

553-1145 or the SFPD anonymous tip line at (415) 575-4444. 

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About The Author

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi was born in San Francisco, raised in the Bay Area, and attended U.C. Berkeley. He never left. "Your humble narrator" was a staff writer and columnist for SF Weekly from 2007 to 2015. He resides in the Excelsior with his wife, 4.3 miles from his birthplace and 5,474 from hers.


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