Witnesses: Police injure person in altercation on Market Street

San Francisco police on Monday may have injured a person who was allegedly resisting arrest outside a smoke shop on Market Street, according to multiple witnesses at the scene and a police spokesperson who confirmed the injury.

The person, described by witnesses as a teenage girl, was taken away from Market and Jones streets in an ambulance at around 1:34 p.m. after witnesses said police hit her and slammed her against a police car. Police were walking the woman out of the Downtown Smoke and Vapes shop in handcuffs when the incident occurred.

Officer Joseph Tomlinson, a police spokesperson, said the person was wanted for arrest, but could not immediately confirm what charge she was wanted on suspicion of. Tomlinson said the person sustained injuries not considered life-threatening.

“I guess there was a fight,” Tomlinson told the San Francisco Examiner. “She was resisting arrest. I don’t know what happened from there but she was transported to the hospital for evaluation.”

Michael Fougeron was at the bus stop across the street when he said a male and a female officer rushed the woman out of the smoke shop in handcuffs.

“They’re telling her to shut up and I guess he smacks her or hits her,” Fougeron told the Examiner. “Then they bounced her head on the hood of the car.”

Ben Assiter, a tourist from the U.K. who was walking by, also said he saw an officer hit the woman in the head.

“They put her against the car, slammed her against the car,” David Sherman, who also was walking by, told the Examiner. “They hit her and threw her in the back seat.”

The witnesses said the use of force prompted a crowd of people to gather around the officers.

“They held her on the car for probably two or three minutes while the crowd was fighting against them,” said Eric Dyer, an area resident. “When they picked her up to put her in the car, she was completely limp.”

An officer could be heard over the police radio yelling for backup. Dozens of officers immediately arrived and blocked off the intersection to traffic.

The person was not moving when authorities rolled her away on the stretcher.

Police spokesman Officer Robert Rueca said a man at the scene was also arrested for “getting involved.” He was cited and released at the scene.

mbarba@sfexaminer.com

Michael Barba
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