The Mean Streets of San Francisco

15-Sep-2019 • San Francisco United States

It was just an hour ago when I saw a big fight that turned ugly in Union Square, San Francisco's shopping and commercial area.

As I was going up the block where the Villa Florence Hotel was located, I could see some men arguing. All of the four people involved were young men in their late twenties to early thirties. I wasn't sure at first what was happening but it became clear to me that they were fighting as one of the men in the group of four tried to separate two people. His efforts though were in vain. The arguing continued. As I passed them, I heard punches behind me. All of a sudden I heard a loud thud and it turns out one man's head got smashed against a wall. It was three men against one. The guy in the black and white striped shirt fell to the ground while the three others kept on beating. One even lifted one foot and stomped on the guy's face who was already on the ground and who lay there unconscious. One lady tourist screams and yells at the three men ganging on the unfortunate fellow to stop. The three men walk away together towards Market Street. All this happened while tourists and locals alike were around them. I went back to take a look and planned to call 911.

I saw a police car but the policemen didn't seem to know what had happened. In fact, the police car just went on by. By this time, the female tourist began to cry as she tried to help wake the unconscious guy up. She thought he had died. I did too as he lay there with his eyes closed and not responding. He did open his eyes and sat but he was speechless and dazed. I heard people saying that someone had already called for help. A few minutes later, a policeman on foot arrived. Some people in front of the hotel where the entire incident occurred came out to assist. Someone even mentioned that the three guys who did the beating were already apprehended.

I left the scene feeling scared, angry, frustrated, and helpless. I am upset that my city of San Francisco has become an ugly and dangerous place to be.

Just two weeks ago, right in the Union Square area, two men, tried to stab each other. I know because it was reported in the 6 o'clock news and I actually saw the two men being taken away separately in an ambulance as I walked home from the BART station. It seemed to me that they were homeless men in the area.

Last week, I saw a mentally disturbed man on the stretch of Market Street in front of Old Navy talking to himself aloud, cross the street and punch a male teenager on the shoulder for no reason. The European tourists who witnessed the event ran and stayed as far away as they could. Granted the man was literally not in his right mind, how much of this sort of thing should we the citizens have to put up with and tolerate? Many of the mentally ill walk the streets and some are violent.

I have never seen so many homeless in the city and the entire Bay Area as I do now. Many sidewalks now reek of pee and littered with human feces.

I am truly sick and tired of seeing San Francisco fall into decay at the pace it has for the past three years. I have entertained the idea of moving. In fact, I've thought about it for some time now. It has been home for more than half my life and I have always been proud of it until now.

What's happened to you, San Francisco?