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By Officer Lois Perillo
During the month of May, Noe Valley reported no robberies and no burglaries. These findings were astonishing to me. In the almost 14 years I've worked the beat, I've not had a month without both of these crimes. As we cops are taught to be suspicious, I ran the stats twice and got the same results. So if any of you reading this and living within the area were targeted, let me know and I'll sadly correct this report in the September column.
How to Dump a Thief
In June, however, the neighborhood had at least one hit. On Friday, June 9, at 11:30 a.m., a 31-year-old man tried to steal a worker's purse from Rabat, the clothing store at the corner of 24th and Noe. The thief was chased by the worker and a 48-year-old man, who tackled and detained the suspect until police arrived.
After a customer alerted the worker that a man had just stolen her purse from behind the counter, she and a male witness chased the suspect south on Noe to Jersey, where other witnesses had seen the suspect toss the contents of the purse onto the sidewalk. They recovered the contents and later gave them to police, who returned them to the worker.
When Sergeant Bob Barnes and Officer Ben Manning reached the scene, they found the witness holding the suspect on the ground. They also found money and a closed pocketknife near the suspect. They took custody of the man and transported him to Mission Station, where he was cited to appear in court on July 12, on a misdemeanor charge of petty theft. Kudos to all the witnesses who lent a hand.
A Nasty Drunk
A 36-year-old woman suspected of reckless driving was arrested outside her car for being drunk in public. She also was charged with assault, for kicking an officer as she was being escorted to jail.
Officers Gene Galleano and Angela Freeman responded to 25th and Church streets on Saturday, May 6, at 10:30 p.m., and spoke to a witness who described the woman's erratic driving, including blowing stop signs, narrowly missing pedestrians, and driving on the wrong side of the street. The witness also saw the wom-an park and enter Kennedy's Irish Pub.
While the officers checked the parked car, the woman in question exited the bar and came up to the officers. They immediately noted she had slurred speech, strong alcoholic breath, and red, watery eyes. Since the witness declined to sign a citizen's arrest, the only option available to the officers was to arrest the woman for being drunk in public and unable to care for herself. They took her to county jail, where she was to be held until sober, but before she was escorted into the jail, she kicked Officer Freeman in the knee. This provoked the felony charge of battery of a police officer. The woman was held for two days in jail, then released. No further action was taken.
Fight over a TV Remote
Early Monday morning, May 22, a 46-year-old woman was arrested for assaulting her 56-year-old sister after a disagreement over who had control of the TV remote. The older woman sustained a swollen eye and a lacerated elbow in the incident.
When Officers Steve Mulkeen and Carol Scatena responded to a house on the 4000 block of 25th Street at 7 a.m. to investigate the report of an assault, they found the dispute had actually happened six hours earlier. They took the younger woman into custody and booked her at county jail, where she was held for two days, rebooked on two misdemeanor charges of aggravated assault, and released pending future court dates.
Bad Fare, No Taxi
A 45-year-old cab driver was spit upon by a 20-year-old man who had boarded his taxi while it was engaged and then become angry when he was asked to exit. The incident occurred at 24th and Church streets on Friday, May 26.
Officer Victor Le reported that the suspect expressed remorse, and the taxi driver declined to have him cited. However, the driver had another issue to handle. During the incident, he accidentally hit a parked car, so he exchanged information with the car's owner before he left the scene.
You Can Run, But You Can't Hide
Police arrested a parolee-at-large who fled on foot after he ran a stop sign while driving without a license. The man also was found with narcotics in his possession.
It all started with a traffic stop. When Sergeant Nick Rubino saw a white Buick run the stop sign at Jersey and Castro streets on Tuesday, May 9, at 5 p.m., he stopped the car once it drove the wrong way through Walgreen's parking lot. I rode up on bicycle as he ordered both the 20-year-old female passenger and the 28-year-old driver to get out of their vehicle. Then the sergeant spotted the narcotics, and the chase was on.
The male suspect first ran north on Castro and made a diving leap for the back of a pickup truck as it started up the hill from 24th Street. He missed and fell flat on his face. By then I was alongside him on my bike, urging him to stop, as I alternately broadcast his description and direction over my radio.
The suspect continued east on 24th Street, zigzagging through traffic. I assured him I could ride farther than he could run. Still, he kept going, turning south on Noe, then east on Jersey, where I finally heard the sounds of a patrol car responding "Code 3" (with lights and sirens). Upon my order, the suspect sat in the middle of the street while I cuffed him. Turned out he was on parole, and the agent had issued a warrant for his arrest. He was returned to San Quentin State Prison.
What Happened to Those Guys?
The 33-year-old man who was arrested in June of last year for battery at Castro and Jersey has successfully completed his court-ordered program, and charges have been dismissed.
The 37-year-old man who was arrested for spousal battery in February in the 1300 block of Douglass pled no contest to a lesser charge and was sentenced to one day in jail, with one day's credit for time served and three years of probation, during which time he must regularly appear in court.
The 40-year-old woman who was arrested for drunk driving in March at Castro and 23rd streets (after several collisions) pled no contest June 1 and was sentenced to 30 days in jail. She was awarded one day's credit for time served, a six-month suspended sentence, and three years on probation.
Charges were dismissed against both men involved in the April battery case at Supercuts, which I reported on in the Voice last month. However, the district attorney stipulated that the two men be "released to another agency," which I believe means they will undergo mediation.
In the Heat of the Day
Remember June 13 and 14? Remember the heat wave we were going through, the hottest Bay Area temperatures in over a hundred years? Well, I'm a former New Yorker, but I admit it: I was hot.
At the peak of the scorcher -- on June 14, it was 103 degrees in San Francisco -- I was pedaling my recently issued Trek 6000 aluminum-framed black police bicycle up the hills to my beat. Yes, I wore my bullet-resistant vest, and no, despite my neighbor Bob's belief to the contrary, I am not allowed to pare down the items I carry on my duty belt to lighten my 15-pound equipment load. I had to carry all my gear, including the sauna that overtook my body between my supposed Coolmax T-shirt (meant to wick away perspiration) and my vest. But nothing got wicked that day. Sorry to be so graphic (it's the nature of being a cop), but my uniform got so weighed down by sweat, it stuck to me like a huge soggy band-aid. Ugh. Happily, we have showers at the station, and I showered through mealtime. Who could eat on a day like that? Well, I did have a chocolate float at Joe's, which should have been a fruit smoothie, and then later, after work, I had some sushi. While we're on the subject of food, in answer to your question: No, I don't eat donuts.
All this is to say: stay cool this summer and have a good one. This column will have to last you through August. (The next issue of the Voice will be in September.) Let's continue to watch out for one another, and I'll see you on patrol.
San Francisco Police Officer Lois Perillo covers her Noe Valley beat-- from Valencia to Grand View and 21st to Cesar Chavez -- on foot and on bicycle. If you would like to discuss a crime or safety problem, call her at 558-5404, the community policing line at Mission Station.