What began as an argument inside an outbound 14 Mission bus over giving up a front seat to a disabled woman ended with the arrest of four suspects for allegedly stealing her bus pass pouch.
The woman, who declined to give her name, but appeared to be about 60, said she was disabled, but it was unclear what kind of disability she had. She spoke briefly to a reporter before police took her way at 5:30 p.m.
She said she was riding the bus to go grocery shopping in the late afternoon and asked one of the teen suspects to give up the front.
The teen refused and along with other teens began calling her a “bitch,” she said.
A witness, Maria Luisa R, said the woman and teens had a “strong verbal confrontation.”
The bus driver subsequently ordered everyone to exit the bus at the corner of 16th and Mission Streets. As the disabled woman was walking away, one of teens allegedly ripped the pouch hanging around her neck.
One of the suspects, described by witnesses as being around 11 years old, picked up the pouch and gave it to one of the older suspects who distributed $100 among the three teens, kept her ID, and threw away her other cards, the witness said.
Maria Luisa picked up the rest of the cards for the disabled women who appeared not to notice what had happened.
Maria Luisa tried to confront the suspects and they responded, “mind your own business,” and tried to get away on a different Muni bus.
Moments later police stopped the get-away bus and arrested the four suspects in front of Western Donut Chinese Food on Mission Street.
“I feel very sad because they are just kids,” Maria Luisa said.
Earlier in the day, Muni riders across town said they are angry about the latest round of cuts to service and want to participate in the Muni boycott but they just don’t have an alternative mode of transportation.
“I wish I could do it,” said Karen Fabec who rides Muni everyday to City College’s Mission Campus. “I just need it –-I support them in spirit.”
She added that since the first service cuts in January she has had to wait a long time at night and has been late to appointments.
Tiffy N, 25, who rides Muni to work from Alamo Square to SoMa said she would do it if enough people joined in the boycott.
“If there was enough people I think they could have an impact,” she said. “I just don’t think this boycott is going to do anything.”