He was a fixture in the San Francisco newspaper business for at least 30 years. He didn't write, he sold papers at news stands.
Now the story of 77-year-old Dallas Ayers has taken a tragic turn. He died of injuries sustained in an assault on Jan. 28.
Police said a man came up to Ayers who was on break near Post and Montgomery streets and slammed him to the ground. He suffered hip injuries and was hospitalized. He died on Thursday. Police are treating his death as a homicide.
Friend James Miller now works at the stand Ayers sold The Chronicle near the Montgomery BART station. "He was a nice man, he cared about the people. He wanted to be here, he always helped others but he lived a quiet life," Miller said.
He says Ayers had hip problems in the past, but always wanted to come back. He says Ayers was not married. He enjoyed staying busy with work. Miller thought the attack could be a robbery because Ayers wallet was missing. He says Miller rarely carried cash because he had been mugged a few times before. However, San Francisco Police spokesperson Albie Esparza says it was a battery. It appears nothing was stolen.
Customers left flowers at the stand and said they were shocked and saddedned by his death. They remember him as quiet and kind. Police are asking for the public's help in finding the suspect. He is described as a white man, 5 foot 8 inches, who wore a brown jacket and brown pants.