Larkin loo gaining seedy reputation after second robbery

Gil Riego Jr./Special to the S.F. ExaminerWallets go in

This Tenderloin toilet is flush with seedy crimes.

Twice in about two days, different men were reportedly robbed by a gaggle of thugs while inside the large public restroom at the corner of Larkin and Myrtle streets. The latest incident involved a 47-year-old Memphis, Tenn., man — possibly a tourist — who was lured into the free-of-charge bathroom by a prostitute about 12:30 a.m. Wednesday, police said.

The victim was reportedly heavily intoxicated and carrying nearly $2,000 in cash. Once inside the lavatory, police said, four men approached the man demanding cash. The victim put up a fight, but ultimately lost.

A witness who saw the assault fetched police. The officers said they found the victim on the ground, his face bleeding, but the suspects had fled.

The man was taken to San Francisco General Hospital with injuries that are not considered life-threatening, police Officer Carlos Manfredi said.

Previously, a 20-year-old homeless man reported being robbed Monday night in the same bathroom — located on a sidewalk in front of Sergeant John Macaulay Park. The New Century Theater strip club is across the street, and a Motel 6 is just up the block on Geary Street.

When the man robbed Monday night went to use the bathroom, police said, three men were waiting inside and a fourth pushed him in. At knifepoint, they stole a small amount of cash and a cellphone, Manfredi said.

For years, certain public toilets in The City have gained a reputation as bastions for criminal activity. That the Larkin Street toilet doesn’t charge for use poses an additional challenge, Manfredi said.

“You want it out there so people aren’t urinating or defecating on the streets,” he said. “Being free, it’s even worse because it’s even easier for them to go in there and engage in sex and drugs — and now assaulting people.

“It’s a catch-22.”

maldax@sfexaminer.com

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