Police target dealers near Haight-Ashbury

Police at the station that patrols Golden Gate Park and the Haight-Ashbury have increased their patrol by plainclothes officers in an effort to crack down on crimes committed by people who regularly go there looking to score drugs or target potential robbery victims, the station’s captain said.

Last week, a man who was taking photographs of the park near the Haight-Ashbury entrance was approached by six young adults who demanded his camera, according to police reports. One of the suspects kicked the man and grabbed the camera, while the others reached through his pockets and grabbed money. When the victim attempted to get his possessions back, another assailant mimicked having a gun underneath his shirt, which the victim took to be real, according to police reports of the Aug. 11 incident.

A bystander who witnessed the event sprang to action and chased down the suspects, eventually corralling the one who stole the camera, according to the report. After a brief struggle, the witness wrestled back the camera and returned it to the robbery victim.

Based on the description given by the witness and the victim, police from nearby Park Station were able to arrest two of the six suspects and charge them with robbery.

Teresa Barrett, captain of Park Station, described the six suspects as “young thugs,” all between 17 and 20 years old. She said groups like that from all over the Bay Area congregate at the section of Golden Gate Park near Haight-Ashbury. The groups are there to get drugs and will steal to support their habit, Barrett said.

“We have a lot of new officers at the station that will dress up as street kids and perform what we call a buy and bust down there,” Barrett said. “They’ll go there with uniformed officers and after a drug deal is completed, a nearby officer will make the arrest.”

Barrett said her group holds monthly meetings to locate “hot spots” for crime in Golden Gate Park. Often these meetings involve key input from the Recreation and Park Department, which deploys 16 park rangers citywide.

The rangers assist police officers in cases ranging from underage drinking to assault and robbery, department spokesman Elton Pon said.

wreisman@sfexaminer.com

Just Posted

BART looking west toward Geary Boulevard in transbay crossing study

Every attempt in Bay Area history to extend BART down Geary has… Continue reading

SFUSD going back to basics with school lunches made from scratch

Upgraded culinary center could serve as model for expanded in-house food production.

Suzy Loftus sworn in as interim district attorney

Suzy Loftus was sworn in as interim district attorney Saturday morning, a… Continue reading

Re-imagining Stonestown

Owners hosting gatherings to find out how to make mall a ‘place people love over the long-term.’

Sliding doors could open up more space on Muni buses

A simple engineering change could soon make Muni’s 900 buses roomier across… Continue reading

Most Read