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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.

Photo by Garret McAuliffe

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.”

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Rigoberto Hernandez

Rigoberto Hernandez is a journalism student at San Francisco State University. He has interned at The Oregonian and The Orange County Register, but prefers to report on the Mission District. In his spare time he can be found riding his bike around the city, going to Giants games and admiring the Stable building.

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  1. Hello, doesn’t the city have a truancy law on the books? My mom rides the Mission lines during the day and even though she is savvy and street-smart, she has been robbed on the 14 before. She also has witnessed disgusting miscreants like these numerous times on the Mission Street corridor. It’s Guiliani time, you inert, lazy imbeciles.

  2. Guillermo: there is no excuse for kids to be acting like that. Just because they are young does not mean they have to be disrespectful and dumb. One of the first things my parents taught me was to respect my elders. Were we there…no, but they are reporting the facts. They were arrested right? Kids act like this because they are learning it from somewhere. Local gangs and thugs. Parents do have to be aware of what their kids are doing and who they are hanging around. Plain and simple.

  3. Regardless if they “got family that loves and cares for them” they are acting like thugs and should be treated as such. No matter how old they are, they acted according to mob behaviour and need to be checked hard, very. If not, they are
    headed for CYA and the big time at Folsom. Or worse.

  4. first of all I think you should all get the story straight before making any comments in regards to this incident. Where you there? Do you all even know their families? A disabled women? NAH!!! Get the story straight first and then talk. That’s what’s wrong with this society we spend all of our time judging other people and worrying about what other people are or are not doing. What, Did you all forget that you all were once teenagers? And even if you were not doing what these kids were doing you all were once kids and believe me these kids got family that love and care for them!

  5. First off, what a bunch of snots for not giving up a seat to a 60 year old woman — disabled or not. Bad upbringing. And then talking back. And then stealing her stuff. These kids should get a severe caning at the very least. Their parents should be punished too for bringing up such good-for-nothing snots.

  6. These children need to be spanked and their parents need to be put in jail. WTF is an 11-year-old doing riding muni without adult-supervision?