Photo: Paul Sullivan
An AC Transit bus in Berkeley. Photo: Paul Sullivan

The Berkeley Police Department arrested a Berkeley man Monday night in connection with the random stabbing of a young woman on a bus, authorities said Wednesday.

Police credited a bystander with fighting off the assailant with a skateboard.

Police arrested Eric Scott Palmer, 24, shortly before 11 p.m. Monday on suspicion of attempted homicide.

According to police, Palmer had been riding an AC Transit bus on San Pablo Avenue when “for no apparent reason, he attacked another passenger,” police said in a prepared statement.

Witnesses said Palmer had walked down the aisle on the bus and took out a knife.

He “said ‘watch this,’ and suddenly stabbed at a 21-year-old woman seated nearby,” according to police.

Read Berkeleyside’s interview with the victim and Palmer’s father.

Another passenger on the bus used his skateboard to hit Palmer “repeatedly and continuously” to distract him from the attack. Police said Palmer still managed to break away at points to continue stabbing the woman.

Authorities said Palmer ultimately fled from the bus when it pulled over on San Pablo Avenue near Chaucer Street, near Bancroft Way.

Witnesses flagged down a police sergeant, who detained Palmer “within moments,” according to police.

The woman suffered serious but non-life-threatening injuries, and was taken to a local hospital for treatment.

Police said there was no apparent motive in the attack, and the investigation is ongoing.

Police also credited the good Samaritan who used his skateboard to stop the attack, and said his actions “were potentially life-saving.”

Palmer is being held at Berkeley Jail without bail and is scheduled for arraignment Thursday at 2 p.m. at Wiley W. Manuel Courthouse in downtown Oakland.

Woman stabbed on AC Transit bus: ‘What did I do that made you want to murder me?’ (08.15.14)

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Emilie Raguso (former senior editor, news) joined Berkeleyside in 2012 and covered politics, public safety and development until her departure in 2022. In 2017, Emilie was named Journalist of the Year...