SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO -- A prostitute sprayed a Palo Alto man with mace after he pulled a knife and punched her over a sexual encounter gone wrong at a motel, police said.

Police arrested Mark Steinkamp, 55, at the Travelodge Hotel on South Airport Boulevard about 10 p.m. Thursday after the rendezvous turned violent, South San Francisco police said. Steinkamp was booked into San Mateo County Jail on charges that included false imprisonment and assault.

Authorities said the prostitute, who was not named, and Steinkamp got into an argument over "money paid or services rendered." As the dispute escalated to violence, Steinkamp used his body to block the hotel room exit and pulled a knife on the woman, police said.

At that point, the woman "defended herself" and sprayed Steinkamp with mace, police said. He allegedly responded by punching her in the face. Police didn't report arresting her in connection with the confrontation.

Police said Steinkamp was also wanted on two warrants from outside San Mateo County, but didn't release details. He was being held in lieu of $75,000 bail.

Contact Joshua Melvin at 650-348-4335. Follow him at Twitter.com/melvinreport.



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