Lack of Halloween checkpoints spooks Castro residents

Many residents say they’re unsure what to expect in the Castro tonight, where hundreds of police plan to crack down on annual Halloween celebrations, but some say they fear weapon-fueled mayhem because police checkpoints will not be set up.

A 600-plus team of police and sheriff’s deputies plan a zero-tolerance policy on crimes such as public drinking and public drunkenness tonight in the neighborhood, where The City is trying to shut down an annual Halloween street party because of violence in previous years.

Agents from the California Department of Alcohol Beverage Control are expected to take part in the multiagency law enforcement team.

That helped convince Lime Restaurant to agree to close at 10 p.m., “just to be on the safe side,” according to manager Palloma Nazario, who said patrons could easily spark trouble just by taking drinks outside.

“We’re taking a huge hit,” Nazario said, although she expects any party tonight will be smaller than in previous years, when estimates put the crowd above 100,000 people.

“I don’t think it’s going to be huge,” Nazario said. “Saturday for us was incredibly slow compared with years prior.”

Resident Allen White thinks interest in the party has fallen this year because of efforts to stamp it out. “People have reached a level of disinterest or disgust,” he said. “They’ve just given up caring.”

But not all of White’s neighbors are so sure. Michael Staley hopes The City will succeed in shutting down the annual street party. “However,” he said, “I really, truly believe that it will not.”

“Since it’s a non-event, the police cannot screen for weapons,” Staley said. “So if somebody decides to cause trouble, they can.”

Police spokesman Sgt. Neville Gittens said “there’s no event happening” in the Castro this year, “so there’s no checkpoint.”

But that confidence doesn’t reassure Eddy Lopez, who lives in the Castro.

“Those who decide to go tomorrow night — unless they’ve lived under a stone — are going to be aware that they’re not supposed to be there,” Lopez said. “There’s going to be tension.”

jupton@examiner.com

Bay Area NewsLocal

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Ali Jamalian, whose life was disrupted in the wake of being charged with possession decades ago, now heads up Sunset Connect, a cannabis manufacturing company. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
Green Rush: Cannabis equity program elevates unexpected entrepreneurs

‘It’s a form of reparations for those of us who were ruined by cannabis arrest’

The Giants and Dodgers face each other again following a May series the Dodgers swept; Dodgers shortstop Gavin Lux caught stealing by Giants second baseman Donovan Solano at Oracle Park on May 23 is pictured. 
Chris Victorio/
Special to The Examiner
Giants vs. Dodgers: What you need to know before this week’s huge series

By Chris Haft Special to The Examiner That grinding noise you’ll hear… Continue reading

San Francisco supervisors approved zoning changes that will allow a chain grocery store to occupy the bottom floor of the 555 Fulton St. condo building. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
Trader Joe’s approved for Hayes Valley, bringing long-awaited grocery store

New Seasons Market canceled plans at 555 Fulton St. citing construction delays

Gov. Gavin Newsom wants $4.2 billion to finish the Central Valley link for the bullet train, but legislators aren’t sold. (Illustration by Anne Wernikoff/CalMatters; images courtesy iStock, California High Speed Rail Authority, Shae Hammond/CalMatters)
Bullet train budget battle: Should California spend more on urban transit, not high-speed rail?

By Marissa Garcia CalMatters High-speed rail was supposed to connect California’s urban… Continue reading

Most Read