Man assaulted in North Beach by panhandler

Cops say a panhandling punk assaulted a man in North Beach who said he had no money to offer Monday morning, police said.

The victim was walking with a woman in the area of Columbus Avenue and Kearny Street around 7:45 a.m. when the suspect asked for cash.

After the victim said he had no money, the panhandler blocked the couple’s path and shouted at them, police said.

As the couple moved on passed him, the panhandler kicked the male victim in the back of the leg, then hurled a partially filled water bottle at the man’s head, causing an open cut, police said.

The frightened couple continued walking away with the suspect following them, then later took refuge in a hotel, where they contacted the police.

Using a description of the suspect, cops later made an arrest, police said.

Community members and businesses in the North Beach and Fisherman’s Wharf areas have reported an increase in the number of assaults from an increasingly aggressive homeless population.

Police have partly attributed the increase to the closure of the Transbay Terminal, which was home to dozens of transients before it was shut down for a major revamp.

maldax@sfexaminer.com

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