Community in Crisis

San Francisco business owner considering closing shop after being bitten by homeless person twice

Bay Area

SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — A San Francisco business owner says he was bitten by a homeless person for the second time in four months at his South of Market shop.

The victim says homelessness and drug addiction in the area are fueling an increase in violence and crime and has him considering closing down.

The teeth marks and bruises on the 67-year-old’s arm would have been worse had he not been wearing long sleeves when he tried to subdue a man who’d allegedly pushed his sister who’d come out behind the register at Harvest Urban Market to eject the homeless man for the second time that day.

 “And I was holding onto them and he twisted his head and he bit my arm,” the man said.

Police arrested 29-year-old Adam Aschebrock for aggravated assault and battery. 

Shopkeeper Gilles DeSaulniers says he was bitten while trying to stop a shoplifter back in June.  

Surveillance video from last week shows a clerk running after a shoplifter who DeSaulniers says pepper sprayed his employee.

The suspect was arrested not long after police arrived.

He has taken pictures of encampments near his business and says his back door will soon need to be replaced because it’s rusted out after being urinated on so many times.

“They create a lot of garbage. There is feces on the sidewalk. They’ll piss on back door. It smells, it’s a public health nuisance,” DeSaulniers said. “The public health department wants us to keep everything nice, but when you walk outside the door, it’s like to plague all over again.”

He says he’s found people selling and doing drugs inside his restrooms often.

“About every half hour to hour, we have some kind of incident — other theft, violence, crazy people walking around people who need mental health,” he said. 

He lives around the corner on Minna Street and says the neighborhood has really gone downhill in recent years with drug abuse on the streets.

 “Police can’t really do much, we call the time and it feels like our voices [are] not being heard,” Desaulniers said. “Nothing’s changing, everything is just getting worse and worse and worse.” 

Mayor London Breed’s deputy communication director responded to KRON4’s request regarding the incident. 

The director said, in part, “Everyone deserves to feel safe where they live and work and the status quo on some of our streets is unacceptable. ” 

The director pointed to efforts the mayor is making to expand conservatorship laws, reform the mental health system and increase police foot patrols.  

Now after this latest incident DeSaulnier is considering closing his South of Market location as well because the crime in his neighborhood is driving business away.  

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Trending Stories

Latest News

More News