Issue:  Vol. 48 / No. 8 / 22 February 2018

Police seek witnesses to Castro attack

San Francisco police are seeking witnesses to a recent attack on two men in the Castro neighborhood. The case is being investigated as a possible anti-gay hate crime.

Sergeant Michael Andraychak, a San Francisco Police Department spokesman, said the incident occurred at 1:50 a.m. on Sunday, November 27, at 18th and Castro streets.

He said the victims were crossing the road after leaving a bar in the 400 block of Castro Street. As they walked, a group of four men and two women suddenly approached them.

“The first victim was punched and kicked numerous times, and required transport to a hospital for treatment,” Andraychak said.

He said one of the suspects made “an anti-gay statement” during the attack on the man, a gay 26-year-old from Oakland, but Andraychak didn’t know exactly what was said. The first man didn’t hear the anti-gay statement, but the second victim did, Andraychak said.

The first man was robbed of his wallet and its contents, his watch, and clothing items, Andraychak said.

He said the second victim got punched as he tried to stop the assault on the first man. The second man is a 21-year-old Newark resident. Andraychak didn’t know that victim’s orientation.

Andraychak didn’t have many details to share about the attackers. He said they were all black, wearing black, hooded shirts and dark pants. They were on foot and fled south on the west side of Castro Street, he said. He said he wasn’t aware of police obtaining any video surveillance footage from nearby businesses.

The first victim was treated for trauma to the head and other parts of his body and released from the hospital, Andraychak said.

Inspector Eddie Hagan, who wasn’t available for comment, has “been getting some phone calls,” but the department’s special investigations division is “still hopeful” witnesses will come forward, Andraychak said.

He said police are just now asking for help because inspectors have “reached a point in their investigation where they need to ask the public for some assistance.” Andraychak said neither victim was willing to speak with the Bay Area Reporter. Their names aren’t being released due to the case’s status as a possible hate crime.

Anyone with information related to the incident is asked to call the special investigations division at (415) 553-1133, the anonymous tip line at (415) 575-4444, or text a tip to 847411 and type SFPD, then the message. The case number is 110 952 305.

— Seth Hemmelgarn, December 30, 2011 @ 12:48 pm PST
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