San Francisco police are hunting for five men allegedly involved in a vicious hate crime beating in front of a popular Mission district taqueria early Saturday.
The incident happened in front of Taqueria Cancún at 2288 Mission St. around 12:30 a.m. when the group attacked three people for no apparent reason, police said.
One of the assailants hollered, “Get out of our neighborhood, f——,” according to the victims.
A 25-year-old man suffered a severe facial laceration and a broken jaw, for which he will undergo surgery today, said Nick Meinzer, a friend of the victims.
According to police, four men were walking north on Mission Street and stopped in front of the taqueria. When one went inside for a bite, the other three were attacked by five men outside the eatery, police Sgt. Michael Andraychak said.
No weapons were used in the attack. But the 25-year-old man who endured the brunt of the assault was briefly knocked unconscious and had to be taken to the hospital with head injuries, Andraychak said.
The other two victims suffered minor injuries, police said.
“One of the suspects uttered something about it being their neighborhood and why were these other men there,” Andraychak said. “Then they used a homophobic statement to describe the four gentlemen.”
The suspects fled in a dark-colored American-made sport utility vehicle. They were described by police as men in their 20s to early 30s.
Meinzer placed an advertisement in Craigslist’s personals section seeking any witnesses to the incident.
According to the ad, “Eight men jumped out of a truck and attacked four, severely wounding one [continuing to stomp on his head as he was unconscious].”
“Adding witnesses who are not victims help the case,” the ad says.
The SFPD’s hate crimes unit is investigating the case. The inspector in the unit said there has been a slight increase in hate crimes in The City recently, Andraychak said. But Andraychak said the frequency of hate crimes appears random.
Anyone with information about the assault is encouraged to call the SFPD’s anonymous tip line at (415) 575-4444 or send a tip by text message to TIP411.