Noe Valley Voice May 2000

Police Beat:
Look for the Man with the Missing Shoe

By Officer Lois Perillo

The good news is that my part of Noe Valley reported no robberies during the month of March and none the first week of April. However, there were two robberies in the second week of April.

A 25-year-old man was robbed at gunpoint by two men in their 20s as he walked on 24th Street near Guerrero on Saturday, April 8, at 12:40 a.m. The walker was approached from behind by the robbers, who demanded money and threatened to harm him if he did not comply. When he removed his wallet and handed over his money, one robber grabbed for the wallet, now empty of cash. The man reflexively pulled the wallet away, at which point the robber produced a handgun and struck him on the head.

The two suspects then ran to a white four-door car, and jumped in and fled north on Guerrero. The man who'd been mugged walked to 24th and Church, where he reported the robbery to police.

In the second robbery, a 51-year-old woman sustained a scrape to her forehead when she struggled with a 20-year-old man who had snatched her purse on Sunday, April 9, at about 2 p.m.

The woman was walking east on 22nd Street toward Castro when she felt a tug on her shoulder bag and turned to see a man yanking on the bag. In the ensuing struggle, both the man and the woman fell to the ground, and her forehead was scraped. Still, she managed to wrest a sneaker from the man's foot as he took off with her purse and ran to a waiting tan car, which fled north on Noe Street.

Although the suspects in these two incidents were not caught, witnesses provided the vehicles' license plate numbers to police (good work, deputies). The Robbery Detail is now investigating both cases.

Belligerent Bingo Player

In a rather unusual incident, an 89-year-old woman was assaulted by a 59-year-old man on Saturday, March 11, at 10 a.m., while they were playing bingo at St. Philip's Church Hall at Diamond and Elizabeth streets. The man apparently became angry with the woman when she asked him not to sit near her. He used an object, possibly a soda can, to strike the woman in the eye, causing her eyelid to swell. The woman was seen by city paramedics, who came to the hall. Officer Ben Manning responded as well and gave the man a citation to appear in court.

Headbutting SUV Owner

On Wednesday, March 29, at 10 p.m., a 30-year-old man reported being assaulted by a man in his late 20s who became enraged that his vehicle was vandalized on the 3900 block of 22nd Street.

According to the police report, the younger man, owner of a Cadillac SUV, initially came to the older man's home to ask him about a note that had been left on his windshield. The note stated that the SUV would be towed if its owner continued to park illegally. When the older man acknowledged he knew about the note, the younger man pulled him down his front steps and accused him of vandalizing his Cadillac by scratching "Tow Me" into the vehicle's paint.

Though the older man denied any involvement, the younger man used the top of his head to headbutt him in the nose, which caused the back of his head to strike the building wall. The younger man then fled in his vehicle. The injured man was seen by paramedics, who responded to the 911 call.

Church Street Hit-and-Run

On Sunday, March 5, at 11:25 p.m., a 40-year-old woman was arrested for felony drunk driving and hit-and-run after she apparently ran a stop sign at 23rd and Castro streets, causing a southbound Castro vehicle to strike her car. After the collision, she immediately attempted to drive away, but hit another vehicle and a fire hydrant. According to witnesses, the woman continued to try to flee, but was thwarted when her car stalled.

Officers Nancy Guillory and Joseph Barretta were called to the scene and detained the suspect, pending a field sobriety test, which she failed to complete. In the police report, the suspect described herself as "bombed." Because one person sustained a cut in the accident and others noted physical pain, the woman was taken to San Francisco General Hospital, where a legally mandated blood sample was drawn and later analyzed to find the blood alcohol content. In the meantime, her vehicle was towed and an inspector bureau's hold placed on it.

The woman was booked on two felonies of driving under the influence and hit-and-run with an injury accident, and she remained in county jail until the next day, when she made bail of $10,000. The DA reduced the charges to misdemeanors, and her next court date was set for May 3.

Batterer Released Too Soon?

In the only reported case of domestic violence within Noe Valley in March, a 47-year-old man and resident of the 4100 block of 23rd Street allegedly assaulted his 41-year-old wife on Friday, March 31, between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. He was arrested by Officer Dorian McConico and booked on a felony battery charge. The suspect was held at county jail over the weekend, then released on Monday after the DA declined to rebook the charges.

The same man was listed as a suspect in a domestic violence incident reported by Officer Lorraine Lombardo on Monday, April 3 -- the same day he was released from jail.

According to Officer Lombardo, the woman in this case began expressing suicidal thoughts, so she accompanied her to St. Luke's Hospital for psychiatric evaluation and treatment.

Meanwhile, criminal charges have been dropped against a 45-year-old woman who was arrested for battery in February after she allegedly assaulted a woman who gave her temporary shelter in her Church Street apartment. (See last month's Police Beat.) The DA dismissed the case, saying the charge was unsustainable.

Nine Homes Burglarized

There were nine reported burglaries in Noe Valley during the month of March. Six were of apartments, while three were of houses.

As reported last month, parolee David Walker, 32, was arrested while inside a home on the 1200 block of Dolores Street. Since the owner of the house was living at an elder-care facility and not at home at the time, the DA's office chose not to file burglary charges and instead sent Walker back to San Quentin on a parole violation.

Tires Slashed on Sanchez

Cars haven't fared well either this spring. There were eight stolen cars and 11 auto break-ins and thefts of property (called "boosts") recorded in Noe Valley during March. In addition, residents reported 10 cases of vehicle vandalism, damage to their cars' exterior.

Five of the vandalism cases were reported to officers Lorraine Lombardo and Ben Manning on Saturday, March 25, and were listed as tire slashings on the 1100 and 1200 blocks of Sanchez Street.

However, there were a few bright spots. A 34-year-old man was nabbed for boosting cars on the 3300 block of 22nd Street at around 4 a.m. on Wednesday, March 8. Two and a half weeks later, on Saturday, March 25, a 17-year-old male was arrested and charged with auto burglary at San Jose and Alvarado streets. One vandalism incident -- at 24th and Diamond streets on Monday, March 20, at about 4 p.m. -- ended in the arrest of a 13-year-old boy.

Also, three of the eight stolen cars were recovered by the end of the month.

Check Your Windows

As the warm weather approaches, please don't leave your windows unsecured! If you must have them open, use those little metal gadgets that keep them from opening all the way. And remember to close and lock all windows and doors when you leave the house.

Let's continue to watch out for one another. 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.