The crime reports coming out of the Occupy SF encampment at Justin Herman Plaza are mounting, San Francisco police said, with cops dealing with incidents of gun possession, assault on a city worker and trespassing on the new holiday ice rink in the past two days.
The escalating violence at Occupy SF “is of concern because of the obvious threat to public safety,” police spokesman Sgt. Daryl Fong said Wednesday.
Jonathan Waknine, 23, of Valley Village, near Los Angeles, was detained Tuesday around 1:30 p.m. after a concerned protester told a cop that Waknine had a gun, Fong said.
The protester overheard the suspect whining to a fellow protester that he didn’t want to go back to prison, Fong said. The suspect then took off his jacket, presumably to show that he had a handgun inside a holster attached to his belt.
Police called for backup, then detained Waknine at the northern side of the plaza. An unloaded semiautomatic handgun was seized without incident. Waknine was cited and released, and his gun was booked as evidence, police said.
Waknine had apparently arrived at the camp Monday night, police said. The day before Halloween, he was busted by the Los Angeles Police Department on drug charges.
On Wednesday, police arrested another camper after he allegedly hurled a glass bottle at a Department of Public Works employee who was cleaning the camp area.
The employee said his crew was preparing to do routine power-washing and disinfecting of the walkways and walls in the plaza’s bocce ball courts.
Before throwing the bottle, the city worker said the suspect was sitting at the entrance of the walkway and told him, “You are not coming in here,” Fong said.
The bottle shattered on the ground, just missing the worker’s leg, police said.
Jesse Nesbitt, 34, a Pennsylvania resident, was subsequently booked on an assault charge and an outstanding warrant. He admitted to throwing the bottle, police said, saying protesters didn’t need Public Works because the campers could clean up after themselves.
Police also were called Tuesday to oust some protesters who were trespassing on the holiday ice rink, which opened for business Wednesday.
Additionally, on Nov. 3 an Occupy camper squabbling over a blanket allegedly tried to choke a fellow protester and whipped out a giant knife on another, police said.
Two days before, a woman who was stabbed in the Tenderloin hopped a cab to the encampment in order to seek medical treatment at the first aid tent.