A little after 8 p.m. on Tuesday, two men approached and threatened a homeless man on Mission Street between 22nd and 23rd streets, according to the victim.
Yuzuf Equiz, 34, who is often on Mission Street performing for tips, said he was dancing next to three shopping carts full of belongings when two men kicked his white plastic bucket three times, initiating a fight that drew more than 10 police officers, an ambulance and a crowd of more than 20 people.
Officers restrained the three men, all of whom were covered in blood from the fight. The sidewalk was strewn with clothing and items from Equiz’s bucket where he keeps tips and small possessions such as batteries.
A witness who declined to give his name described the fight as “horrific and surreal.” He said he often sees Equiz around the neighborhood, dancing and minding his own business.
“Oh no,” said a woman walking by, after she found out what had happened. “I love this guy.”
After much resistance, officers carried one of the suspects away on a stretcher and put him in an ambulance. The other was carried to an SFPD van. Equiz was disoriented after the fight, but refused medical help.
“I’m just tired,” he said. “I can’t keep getting in fights out here. I don’t want to end up in jail. I don’t want to end up dead.”
“Keep dancing, man,” advised the man who recognized him after bringing Equiz a bottle of water and some food.
“I’m trying to stay happy,” Equiz said. “That’s what keeps me happy is dancing.”