Violent Attack in SF's Tenderloin Worries Startup Workers, Prompts Police Response - NBC Bay Area
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Violent Attack in SF's Tenderloin Worries Startup Workers, Prompts Police Response

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    Violent Attack in SF's Tenderloin Worries Startup Workers

    A violent attack in San Francisco's Tenderloin neighborhood has a business owner pleading for help from police. Jean Elle reports. (Published Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2018)

    A violent attack in San Francisco's Tenderloin neighborhood has a business owner pleading for help from police.

    Employees at HVMN, which makes nutritional foods and supplements, said they aren't feeling safe after a co-worker saw a violent attack Tuesday outside the company's office on Mason Street.

    The startup's CEO Geoffrey Woo posted video of the attack on Twitter, asking police and city leaders for help.

    "I think it's boiled over to a point of frustration, of worrying about our safety," Woo said. "We are going out eating lunch, walking around in the neighborhood. It's scary."

    San Francisco police officers saw the tweet and stopped by the office Wednesday to take a report. Woo said the neighborhood needs more officers.

    "When police are on the street, it's cleaner, safer. But too few in between," he said.

    Some people who live in the Tenderloin agree.

    "If there are cops around, there's not nearly as much going on," resident Diane Tomasello said. "If no cops are around, all kinds of stuff is going on."

    SFPD said it has stepped up efforts in the neighborhood, adding a dozen police officers to foot patrols in November and often tweeting about the repeated arrests of drug dealers.

    Photo credit: SFPD

    The suspect was captured on surveillance video and the police department has released two images from the footage.

    Shaken by the violence outside his office door, Woo said the thought of moving the company's office has crossed his mind.

    "If it doesn't get better, I don't think we'll have a choice," he said. "We'll have to move out."

    Anyone who recognizes the suspect is asked to contact police at their 24-hour anonymous tip line at (415) 575-4444 or to text TIP411 with "SFPD" in the beginning of the message.

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