Blood-sucking passenger charged with aggravated mayhem

SAN FRANCISCO - A transient who thumbed a ride here from Santa Cruz was arraigned Tuesday on a charge of aggravated mayhem, accused of biting the neck and sucking the blood of the man who picked him up.

''I need the cure ... I need blood,'' Eric D. Knight told officers who arrested him a week ago.

Joshua Roise, 28, of Santa Cruz, picked up Knight, 39, just north of Santa Cruz on the night of July 26, and drove him to a Cala Foods store here. Roise told police that Knight was calm during the 1 1/2-hour car ride but changed when it was time to be dropped off, lunging at his jugular during a two-minute struggle that began with a hug.

''Knight wanted to thank Roise for the ride and gave him a hug,'' the police report says. ''Knight continued to restrain Roise's arms while biting and sucking the jugular vein of Roise's neck.''

''I asked him repeatedly to stop (but) he only clamped down harder and restrained my arms so I couldn't get away,'' Roise told police. ''He continued biting and sucking on my jugular vein for about two minutes.''

Roise eventually broke free and flagged down a cruiser for help after Knight fled the scene on foot. Knight was apprehended a short time later near an entrance to Golden Gate Park.

Roise was treated for his bite wound at the University of California-San Francisco Medical Center.

Besides aggravated mayhem, a charge which police said was related to the severity of the wound he inflicted, Knight was charged with false imprisonment, resisting arrest and warrants violations.

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