San Francisco

Embarcadero Shelter Opponents Call For Apology From City, Judge in Wake of Attack on Woman

A residents group opposed to a planned homeless navigation center at the Embarcadero in San Francisco held a news conference Sunday morning in the wake of an attack last week on a woman as she tried to enter the lobby of a condominium building.

"We're here today to give a wake-up call to the city of San Francisco: Our streets are not safe, and our homes are not safe," said Wallace Lee, spokesman for Safe Embarcadero For All. "All we've heard (from the city) so far is excuses. The victim is owed an apology, and the community is owed an apology."

The news conference took place outside the Watermark condominiums, 501 Beale St., is where resident Paneez Kosarian, 26, was attacked in an incident captured on security video. Kosarian spoke at the media event.

The group also called for an apology from Judge Christine Van Aken for allowing the release of suspect Austin James Vincent following the Aug. 12 attack.

It also called for the city "to voluntarily halt its plans for its new homeless shelter until a court decides our lawsuit and temporary restraining order against the city's proposed Embarcadero shelter."

"It is irresponsible to build a 200-bed shelter, which the city admits will house active drug users and the mentally ill in the middle of 10,000 residents when the city is unable to ensure our safety," Lee said. "If you need any more evidence, Mr. Vincent, the suspect in the Watermark attack, was initially released to a homeless shelter."

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