VIDEO: SF Homeless Man Critically Injured in "Unprovoked and Disturbing" Attack - NBC Bay Area

VIDEO: SF Homeless Man Critically Injured in "Unprovoked and Disturbing" Attack

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    SF Homeless Man Critically Injured in "Unprovoked and Disturbing" Attack

    A homeless man is in critical condition after he was injured in what police are calling a "completely unprovoked and disturbing" attack. Jean Elle reports. (Published Thursday, April 2, 2015)

    A homeless man is in critical condition with 50 stitches in his head after what police are calling a "completely unprovoked and disturbing" attack.

    The incident occurred at about 9 p.m. Wednesday in front of the Gang Way Bar near the intersection of Larkin Street and Geary Boulevard, in San Francisco's Tenderloin neighborhood.

    Surveillance video released by police shows the victim, a well-known panhandler in the area known as Robert, sitting on a bucket. A male suspect is seen in the video walking up to Robert. The suspect then pulls out what appears to be a pipe and hits the victim in the head.

    "I've never seen that guy, never seen him before," Gang Way Bar owner Jung Lee said of the suspect.

    Lee and others in the neighborhood said the suspect and Robert may have had some kind of dispute earlier in the day.

    "He hangs out in front of my building and I have to ask him to move sometimes," Lee said. "And when I do I hang out and talk to him myself."

    Robert's friend, Michael -- who did not provide a last name -- visited the victim at San Francisco General Hospital. Michael said Robert is conscious with a serious head injury.

    "He is in ICU -- neck brace, stitches on his head," Michael said.

    San Francisco Police Officer Carlos Manfredi patrols the Tenderloin area and sees the victim on a daily basis.

    "He always had a smile on his face no matter how bad the situation is or how bad the weather is," Manfredi said.

    Manfredi has also offered Robert help by taking him to homeless shelters and the sobering center.

    "We would take him to the shelter -- get him food when he needed it. Even buy him shoes," Manfredi said.

    The suspect could face an attempted murder charge, police said.

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