ONN – “Safe Embarcadero For All” Pegs New SF Violence Video As Reason To Stop Homeless Shelter
Video of New Embarcadero Violence Released
Crime up 90% on San Francisco Embarcadero Since Homeless Shelter Announced
San Francisco—A group opposing a homeless shelter on San Francisco’s Embarcadero waterfront today again called upon the City to voluntarily halt its planned 200-bed Embarcadero homeless shelter until a court can hear its legal challenge to stop the development, saying waterfront residents are concerned for the safety of all San Franciscans, Embarcadero neighbors, and visitors.
The group released statics that show crime is up 90 percent since the proposed San Francisco Embarcadero Navigation Center was announced in March 2019. The San Francisco Police Department data shows that the number of violent assaults in the immediate area corresponding to Mayor London Breed’s “Safety Zone” has increased by 90% compared to the same period a year ago, from 17 incidents to 33.
Two new incidents of violence, announced Wednesday by Mayor Breed, Police Chief Bill Scott, and the heads of San Francisco’s health and homelessness departments, are the most recent incidents of unprovoked violence in the neighborhood, according to the San Francisco Chronicle newspaper today.
One of the new incidents occurred in front of the Watermark building on Tuesday, the same location where Paneez Kosarian, 26, was violently attacked allegedly by Austin James Vincent, a homeless man.
In the new incident revealed by Mayor Breed, an assailant can be seen running down the street and, without provocation, punching a resident of the Watermark building (501 Beale St.) as he walks towards the entrance of his home. See the new security videos: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1NWcUjlSDiJzLVY8pT6JwIZUnpAJw50Cz?usp=sharing.
The videos, from Watermark security, is a public record in the possession of SFPD. One video shows the unprovoked attack while the other shows the suspect fleeing the scene. The incident occurred shortly before 9 p.m., Tuesday, Aug. 20. There is no immediate indication that the suspect was homeless, according to police.
“Our citizens’ organization knows nothing about the assailant or what caused him to randomly punch a neighborhood resident,” said Wallace Lee of Safe Embarcadero for All, a group suing to stop the Embarcadero homeless center. “Our hearts and thoughts go out to all the victims of these incidents. We ask the city, the police, and the authorities to punish acts of violence in the appropriate legal manner to protect residents from unprovoked attacks.”
“We believe the right thing, in light of all the violence, is for the city to voluntarily halt construction of its planned mega-homeless shelter until a court can rule if the City properly followed its own regulations as well as State rules governing public trust lands,” Lee added.
In the second incident, according to the Chronicle, just over 12 hours later, police were flagged down on the 200 block of the Embarcadero to respond to an assault. A witness told police he had observed an adult male punch a man in the face, causing the victim to fall to the ground. The suspect went through the victim’s pockets, police said, taking personal items. Officers arrested 29-year-old Ali Thompson and booked him on charges of aggravated assault, robbery and possession of stolen property. It’s not immediately clear that Thompson was homeless, but he had no local address, police told the Chronicle.
“As San Franciscans, we love our city, but the danger and threat to residents is real,” Lee said. “Our organization had this video of this new attack. We chose not to release it earlier because we did not know whether the attack had any connection to the Navigation Center. In any event, that issue is beside the point. The bottom line is that The Embarcadero is no longer a place where residents and visitors feel safe and our elected leaders are attempting to make it worse by adding more mentally unstable and drug-addicted individuals to our neighborhood—which is unacceptable to all of us. The Embarcadero homeless center is a low-barrier shelter which will accept active drug users, the mentally ill, sex offenders and dogs designated as ‘vicious’. Such a facility does not belong amidst thousands of densely-packed families.”
Lee said the group called upon the Mayor and District 6 Supervisor Matt Haney to halt the proposed homeless shelter immediately. “We believe it is the right thing for the City to stop its plans because of the public danger that already exists to women, seniors, parents, and children,” Lee said.
“Enough is enough. Our streets are not safe, our homes are not safe. The City wants more shelters when it cannot deal with the ones it has currently. Judges allow dangerous, most likely mentally ill and drug addicted homeless attackers back on to San Francisco’s streets. If someone is looking for the definition of madness, this is it,” said Lee.
Safe Embarcadero for All Website: https://www.safeembarcaderoforall.org
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