Homeless man involved in SF attack due back in court Friday

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SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — It was early Sunday morning when a San Francisco woman was attacked by a homeless man as she tried to enter her Beale Street condo.

The man was arrested and charged with the attack.

But fear turned to outrage when a San Francisco superior court judge decided to release 25-year-old Austin Vincent pending his next court hearing.

Now, criticism of that decision continues to grow. 

San Francisco Mayor London Breed weighed in Thursday when asked about Judge Christine Van Aken’s decision to release Vincent on assertive case management despite recommendations from the D.A. and pretrial diversion not to release him.

“I do think the judge was wrong,” Breed said. “This person is a danger to society at this time. It’s been proven and it’s something that needs to be addressed. It’s unfortunate that with what we know is happening on our streets around people who have serious mental health issues who really need to be in a facility or something where they could get support, are just released back into the street.” 

In one post on Twitter, the victim tweeted to the mayor.

“Which city will keep its residents safe and protected from drug addicted, mentally ill criminals?” the post read. “Most certainly not SF led by @londonbreed” and later tweeted “I need answers!! @jerrybrowngov @gavinnewsom recall judge Christine Van Aken, she is not fit for this job and is putting all of our lives in danger.”

But in a statement, the public defender said “Mr. Vincent has no prior violent offenses, nor any previous or outstanding warrants….. by all accounts this appears to have been a young man having a mental health crisis…. the judge made the sound decision to release Mr. Vincent under the restrictive conditions of assertive case management in order to provide him the services he needs.”

Originally, Vincent wasn’t due in court until Sept. 12, but now reports claim he will be back in court Aug. 15. for a special prehearing conference that was scheduled Thursday afternoon.

It is unknown if the prehearing was scheduled because of the public outcry. 

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