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Police: ‘Water riot’ closed Scott Street, doused passers-by

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A water fight on one the hottest days of the year escalated into what police described as a “water riot” that closed down a street and soaked passers-by.

According to police, children and some adults at a housing development in the 1100 block of Scott Street began throwing water balloons at each other to combat the afternoon heat June 22. Their hydro-hostilities swiftly turned from each other to passing cars and bicyclists, several of whom were stopped and allegedly robbed during the fray. Police closed the street for about an hour and a half while order was restored.

Lt. Tim Foley, acting captain at the station, said Thursday that the commotion began like almost any water fight, not as a plan to harass or rob passers-by, but it got out of control.

“It appeared to be one of those things where there are water balloons, now there are people on the ground and then somebody says ‘Oh, OK, they’re on the ground, let’s go rob them,’” Foley said.

Foley said one woman in a car was injured when a water balloon hit her in the head. An ambulance was called, he said, but the injury was not serious.

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Three victims made police reports, Foley said, two of whom said they were robbed. A number of other passers-by were hit with balloons, but declined to take official action. Most were just “upset and wet,” Foley said.

As a result of the melee, the San Francisco Housing Authority is in the process of placing tamper-proof valves on the common spigots, Foley said. A voice mail for Housing Authority Operations Director Anthony Ihejeto was not returned by press time.

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