SAN FRANCISCO — A man apparently upset because he was denied unemployment benefits was arrested Friday after he struck a state Employment Development Department worker in the head several times with a hatchet, police said.
The attack came after a rifle the attacker had pointed at another employee misfired, said Geri Isman, manager of the unemployment services office.
State Police Lt. Charles Harrison said Lou Tze, 43, was booked into City Jail on two counts of attempted murder after he was captured by employment office workers and a state policeman stationed in the building.
The injured worker, Greg Gadsby, 49, was taken to San Francisco General Hospital, where several cuts on his head and face were sutured, a hospital spokeswoman said. Isman said Gadsby was released from the hospital about three hours later with "one deep cut and some other superficial cuts."
Isman said that Tze recently had been refused benefits, but that department rules prevented her from revealing the circumstances of the decision.
Harrison said Tze entered the large unemployment insurance office on San Francisco's Mission Street shortly after 11 a.m., leaped over a 3 1/2-foot-high barrier and pulled an M-1 carbine from under a long, green coat.
Tze pointed the weapon at employment worker Barbara Clare and pulled the trigger "four to six times," but the gun failed to fire, Isman said.
Harrison said Gadsby, who is Clare's supervisor, "charged the suspect and was able to wrestle the gun out of his hands. The suspect then pulled a short-handled ax out of his coat and started swinging it, hitting Mr. Gadsby in the head several times."
Gadsby continued struggling with his assailant and he and other nearby workers were able to pin the attacker to the floor until State Police Officer Anthony Erves arrived from another part of the building and arrested him, Harrison said.