What began as an upbeat and raucous celebration in The City after the Giants’ World Series-clinching win Sunday in Detroit devolved into a chaotic scene of fights, vandalism and dozens of fires throughout San Francisco.
Citywide, 36 arrests were made, and two of the 23 felony arrests were on firearms charges.
Click on the photo to see more photos during and after the World Series celebrations in San Francisco.
Police Chief Greg Suhr said his department did not anticipate the destructive behavior, but said police have plans to ensure nothing similar happens at Wednesday’s parade for the team.
Suhr said the destructive behavior was “a one-up” on San Francisco’s celebration of the Giants’ World Series win over the Texas Rangers in 2010 and came as a surprise to authorities.
“There was a point in the night when the crowd changed and the real Giants fans went home,” police spokesman Sgt. Michael Andraychak said. “The people responsible for the damage most likely just took advantage of the win and used it as an excuse to be violent.”
Most of the mayhem, which lasted until early Monday morning, happened in the Mission district, but one of the worst incidents involved a Muni bus that was torched near Third and Market streets. The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, which operates Muni, said it had invested approximately $1 million into the bus, which had been rehabbed and placed back into service last year.
On Monday, SFMTA officials also were assessing damage to several other vehicles, spokesman Paul Rose said.
Mayor Ed Lee denounced the vandals as “knuckleheads” and “hoodlums” for causing such a financial burden on The City.
“We’re going to have to compensate for that,” Lee said. “They tried to destroy the exuberance of 10,000 people on the streets. That’s an unfortunate aspect that our police had to deal with. We are going to deal with them and they’ll have to be accountable.”
Large fires were set in the middle of streets throughout the Mission, and many fans were seen leaping over the flames.
“I just wish I could hand out sparklers or something and not have bonfires in the street,” Lee said.
Police also are investigating a shooting at Third and Townsend streets near AT&T Park in which a man was struck in the arm by a stray bullet. Multiple assaults were reported as well. Several police officers were pelted with bottles while trying to get crowds to disperse, but there were no serious injuries to revelers or law enforcement personnel, Andraychak said.
For the Giants’ celebratory parade Wednesday, Lee encourages fans to express their excitement in a more peaceful and positive way.
“I don’t want this to scar anyone’s celebration on the streets, because we deserve the right to yell and have a good time,” Lee said. “I am not going to let the spirit of this city be destroyed by 36 people. We are going to move forward with a great parade, a great celebration.”
Bay City News contributed to this report.