Man uses skateboard to interrupt stabbing on bus

Photo: Paul Sullivan

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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  • George Benson

    Hooray for skateboard guy!

  • chris

    whaaaaaaat the effff

  • Shutter

    Ban guns. Skateboards save lives.

  • Guest

    Skateboarders to the rescue! Not the first time I’ve heard such a story.

  • testit

    Skateboarding is not a crime!

  • EastBayer

    Yep…the skateboard wouldn’t have been able to stop the crime if it had been perpetrated with a gun…

  • guest

    Is this the same Eric Palmer who went to Merced High School and can be seen flashing gang signs in his Facebook profile photo?

  • Mariah Elizabeth

    Im the woman in the story I fought the best I could but I appreciate that man with the skate board thanks so much

  • emraguso

    So glad you’re all right. This sounds horrific.

  • Mariah Elizabeth

    Yes it was pretty bad im alright I thank god im alive

  • Heather62

    Wow, Mariah. I’m so glad you are okay and so sorry that happened to you!

  • john lawrence

    Mariah, I’m the guy who had the skateboard. I’m so so relieved to know you are okay! Bless you a million times. To everyone, don’t let hate or anger build up inside yourself, live sweet, be kind.

  • bgal4


  • Heather62

    You are a hero, John Lawrence!

  • leilah


  • L.E.

    John, you’re a hero! Thanks from everyone!!!

  • Mariah Elizabeth

    Thanks so much you saved my life I didnt think the guy skating towards me at the bus stop would be the one saving my life

  • Hey John! Amazing story, thank you so much for standing up for other people even at the risk of your own well being. Please send an email to, we want to send you a new board as a small token of your bravery.

  • Culper Agent 355
  • Anyone know how to contact John Lawrence? We want to give him a free board

  • emraguso

    I think he’s off the grid.