In a heart-warming show of social solidarity, a group of bystanders was seen on a video camera helping a female police officer who was being attacked by a homeless person who was reported to have been shouting racial epithets at Asian passers-by in San Francisco’s Chinatown yesterday. The homeless person in question is currently under police custody.
The video footage shows the police officer approaching the homeless person carefully, instructing him to face the other way. Without warning, the homeless person turned around and started assaulting the police officer, pushing her down to the ground.
UPDATE: Video shows @SFPD officers converging on Clay & Kearny after officer reports she’s struggling w/suspect. Witnesses say he had been spewing racist epithets at Asian people passing by. 📹: @Sfstreets415 pic.twitter.com/Wjm1Rie0gM
— Henry K. Lee (@henrykleeKTVU) May 30, 2021
Fortunately, bystanders came to her rescue not too long after the physical altercation started and were able to thwart the homeless man long enough for backup to come by and finally subdue the homeless man in handcuffs.
UPDATE: Gerardo Contreras, 33, remains in @SheriffSF custody after being arrested for allegedly assaulting, battering, resisting & trying to disarm this @SFPD officer of her orange less-than-lethal beanbag shotgun during confrontation near Clay & Kearny pic.twitter.com/szPB6X9xAU
— Henry K. Lee (@henrykleeKTVU) May 31, 2021
According to ABC 7 News, the homeless man, identified as thirty-three-year-old Gerardo Contreras, has had run-ins with the law in the past in other parts of California. The question of whether authorities will pursue hate crime charges against Contreras remains unanswered at this time.
“Things can go from OK to really bad in a split second.” Head of @SanFranciscoPOA speaks out after @SFPDCentral @SFPD officer is attacked by homeless man in Chinatown as she tries to detain him. Suspect in custody pic.twitter.com/4tE5u7zJpN
— Henry K. Lee (@henrykleeKTVU) June 1, 2021
One of the witnesses at the scene was interviewed by ABC 7, expressing gratitude for her service and hoped she was alright. Currently unidentified, the assaulted officer sustained minor injuries and is expected to recover swiftly. Contreras is well-known to some who frequent the area and has been reported by community activists as potentially having mental health issues. Whether that can and/or will be used in Contreras’ defense remains to be seen.