1 arrested in slaying of Australian tourist in San Francisco
SAN FRANCISCO (KTVU) - One person has been arrested in connection with the slaying of an Australian tourist who died following a fight early Friday at a hotel in the Russian Hill neighborhood, authorities said.
The San Francisco Medical Examiner's office has identified the victim as Matthew Bate, 33, of Woolner, Northern Territory, Australia. Police said the victim suffered multiple injuries and was pronounced dead at a local hospital.
Two people had been detained for questoning and the identities of those people are pending and homicide inspectors have been questioning the pair about what happened at 2:15 a.m. in the breezeway of the da Vinci Villa Hotel, located in the 2500 block of Van Ness Avenue in the Russian Hill neighborhood.
Investigators are also reviewing surveillance footage from a nearby security camera. A pair of sunglasses, clothes and blood smears on the cement were visible several hours after the violent fight.
"A victim got into a verbal altercation with a couple subjects," said San Francisco police Officer Giselle Talkoff. "During that time, it turned into a physical altercation."
Woolner is a suburb of Darwin, located on the northern coast of Australia. Bate's LinkedIn page shows he was working as an analytical chemist for a company called SGS Australia.
When officers arrived on scene, they went door-to-door searching for the suspects.
"We were sleeping and the police came in at about 2:51" in the morning, said Brett Heckethorn, who was in town from Japan with his father for the Washington Nationals/SF Giants series. "Just banging on the door, 'Open up! Open up!' We said, 'What? Why?' We opened the door, they looked at us- nope, we're not the guys so they moved along."
Investigators are looking into what led up to Bate's death. They believe Bate may have been at a local bar in the hours leading up to the fight.
Andrew Borden, of Wisconsin, was also a guest at the hotel early Friday.
"Yeah, it shocks me but it's not like it doesn't happen in every big city," Borden said.
Said Heckethorn: "Violence in general is endemic to America. I think that's the problem that we're having these days."
KTVU reporter Tara Moriarty and Bay City News contributed to this report.