Good Samaritans Commended by SFPD For Stopping Attack on Store Clerk

A pair of good Samaritans were being hailed as heroes Monday after they came to the aid of a female store clerk being strangled by a man earlier this month in San Francisco.

On Jan. 14, at about 9:20 a.m., officers from Northern Station responded to a reported battery taking place at a business in the 800 block of Turk Street, police said. Officers were advised that the male suspect put a female store clerk in a chokehold and then fled the scene after two bystanders intervened, police said.

Brian Holste

Jesse Green, a homeless man who cleans car windows at a nearby Shell gas station, said when he saw the attack, he didn’t hesitate to help.

"Her face was purple," he said. "I mean he was really doing the man thing on a woman. Little teeny thing; she was a little, tiny, fragile thing."

Upon arrival, officers were flagged down by Green and the other witness, who directed them to the suspect, later identified as Brian Keith Holste, 30, of Stockton. Holste had been sitting on the stairs of a building in the 800 block of Franklin Street, police said. The officers took Holste into custody without incident.

The victim told officers that Holste had purchased an item about 20 minutes earlier and that when he returned to the store, he immediately attacked her without provocation, police said.

Witnesses told police they saw Holste on the floor with the victim, and he had her in a chokehold. Green and the other witness were able to get Holste to release his grip and end the attack, police said. They said the efforts of the good Samaritans likely saved the victim from greater harm.

Holste was booked into San Francisco County Jail on charges of aggravated assault and burglary.

While an arrest has been made, anyone with information is asked to contact the SFPD 24 Hour Tip Line at (415) 575-4444 or Text A Tip to Tip411 and begin the text message with SFPD.

NBC Bay Area's Terry McSweeney contributed to this report.

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