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“Like New” SF Muni Bus Torched In Giants Celebration, Insider Says

By Beat News Service November 13, 2012 No Comments Print Share

It’s bad enough that hoodlums decided to set fire to a $700,000 MUNI bus in celebration of the San Francisco Giants’s World Series Championship on the morning of October 29, but it’s the  particular bus they chose to destroy that has the city on the hook for more than the original retail price.

The heavily damaged vehicle was one of dozens of buses that have recently returned from a $300,000 mid-life rehabilitation performed at Complete Coach Works in Riverside, the Beat has learned.

Federal stimulus money is paying for the rehab work to be done on more than 170 MUNI older diesel buses to improve reliability and extend their service lives. The particular bus destroyed by vandals received a new engine, transmission, cooling and suspension systems along with new LED destination signs and paint jobs on the interior and exterior.

“It was like brand new,” a source told the Beat who has asked to remain anonymous because they were not authorized to speak about the matter.

The shell of the bus now sits idle at a city yard as evidence in the pending criminal and civil trials against the men who vandalized and ignited the transit vehicle. The front half of the 60-foot articulated bus was “virtually gutted” by the flames, but damage to the back half wasn’t as severe, according to the source.

The source applauded San Francisco firefighters who quickly put the fire out before it spread to the rear of the bus where it could have set off the diesel in the 125-gallon fuel tank.

“It could have been really ugly,” the source said.

Three men, Gregory Graniss, 21, Nicholas Hudson, 19, and Alex Diaz, 24, have been arrested and face various vandalism and arson charges, however investigators are still looking for at least three additional culprits, including a man wearing a black beanie and San Francisco Giants jacket filmed by a witness throwing a flaming object into the bus through the bus driver’s window.

Police have asked witnesses and people with information about the crime to call the department’s Arson Task Force at (415) 920-2944, or the Anonymous Tip Line at (415) 575-4444, or Text-a-Tip to TIP411 and begin the text with “SFPD.”

Contact the Beat at news@californiabeat.org

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