Two dead bodies found in S.F.; police say cases are unrelated

Apparently homeless man discovered in Golden Gate Park, reports say he was beaten

In apparently unrelated incidents Friday, San Francisco police responded to two calls reporting the discovery of dead bodies in The City.

The first call came in about 7:30 a.m., according to police. A construction worker in Golden Gate Park discovered the body of an unidentified white male in his 40s in some bushes near the Shakespeare Garden, spokeswoman Maria Oropeza said.

An officer at the scene said the man appeared to be homeless, and might have been killed there, but Oropeza said the Medical Examiner’s Office has not ruled the death a homicide.

Elihu Hernandez, an activist with the Coalition on Homelessness, said about 150 to 200 people live in Golden Gate Park.

Hernandez said he had received unconfirmed reports from homeless people in the park that the dead man had been beaten while he slept in a sleeping bag.

The second body was reported just after 1 p.m., according to police. A tenant in an apartment building in the 1700 block of Polk Street told police he had come home to find a dead body inside his apartment, Sgt. Neville Gittens said Friday.

The victim, an unidentified Asian male, did not live in the building, Gittens said. There were no signs of forced entry to the apartment.

Gittens said inspectors discovered blunt-force injuries to the victim. It is still unclear whether the blunt-force injuries caused the victim’s death.

Other tenants in the building reported that they heard an argument coming from the unit in which the victim was found. Gittens did not say whether the tenant is a suspect in the victim’s death.

Yazid Belayadi, who runs Le Petit Market downstairs from the apartment building, said Friday that the tenant had come into his store just after reporting the body to police. “He was all red,” Belayadi said. “He was shaking.” Belayadi said the tenant told him he didn’t know the victim. He said the tenant had said the door to his apartment was broken when he got home.

The discovery of the Polk Street body brings The City’s homicide rate to 64 for the year, according to Sgt. Steve Mannina. Two shooting deaths last month are not being included in the homicide total. One of those deaths happened on National Park Service land at Fort Funston. The other, in which a resident of an apartment in a public housing project on Potrero Hill shot an intruder, is being considered a justifiable homicide.

Last year at this time The City had recorded 51 homicides.

amartin@examiner.com

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