SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — A 78-year-old woman was assaulted in San Francisco’s Mission District on Feb. 10 and her cane was kicked to the ground, the San Francisco Police Department confirmed to KRON4. A suspect in the assault was arrested hours after it occurred.
A press release sent out by several community organizations based out of the Mission District identified the victim in the attack as Yolanda Melara, who is a teacher at MNC Inspiring Success Head Start Program. The press release said Melara was attacked unprovoked as she was walking to work.
SFPD responded to 16th Street and Mission Street for the assault at 8 a.m. Police said the victim was walking with a cane when the suspect kicked the cane, causing her to fall to the ground.
The suspect fled the scene after the assault. The victim was hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries.
Officers viewed surveillance footage of the incident and spotted the suspect around 1:30 p.m. the same day on the 300 block of Van Ness Avenue. He was detained after a brief foot pursuit and identified as 47-year-old Steven Briar.
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The attack prompted local leaders to hold a press conference about safety in the area. People voiced their desire to clean up dirty streets and sidewalks, and put a stop to crime.
“The way that this city has treated this neighborhood is extremely ridiculous,” said Ryen Motzek, the president of the Mission Merchants Association. “It’s also unfair, pathetic, shameful and a damn embarrassment, and it certainly, 100%, without a doubt feels like it’s by design.”
Briar was booked into jail for battery with serious injuries, elder abuse and resisting arrest.