Officers formed a perimeter around the party. Photo by Lydia Chávez

A witness wrote to Mission Local describing a Sunday night party in Dolores Park that “was a lot messier” than we described in our earlier story. She said the police response time was delayed.

“They didn’t need all the officers on the Castro, they needed a couple around Dolores. This is my fourth Pride and usually everyone ends at Dolores on Sunday, but I’ve never seen it get that nuts.”

Police said that a 28-year-old man was stabbed just before 8 p.m. and was being treated for non-life threatening injuries. The SFPD did not have officers in the park at the time. “At the time we were focused on the Pride events” and other problems around the city,  said SFPD spokesperson Officer Robert Rueca.

He added that the victim said he bumped into someone at the park and then realized when the suspect bumped him, he had been stabbed.

The eyewitness said  it was  around 7:45 p.m. when the girl got hit with the bottle. “She was try to avoid the whole ordeal, it just escalated quick because everyone was drunk and so people started heckling and getting rowdy,” the witness wrote.  She added that she called 911 at “exactly 8:02 pm.”

Here is an account from an eyewitness. If you have video, please send it to info@missionlocal.com.

It was a group of juveniles escalating the entire scenario. There was not enough police presence around Dolores Park to keep the situation from escalating and the police didn’t arrive until around 30 – 45 minutes after the fight ended…(Note: Police arrived around 8:30 p.m.)

I watched from my group in the middle of the park as the girls got hit with the bottle, everyone just kept getting rowdy and recording on their phones. A group of guys beside me was cheering on the whole ordeal and filming.

Then the energy of everything shifted and there was some definite animosity in the air. It was all really disorienting and happened super fast. All of a sudden on the other side of the park opposite the bathrooms a guy got chased down and about four guys brought him down and started kicking him on the ground. They were really kicking him and beating him badly. I heard someone say there was a knife. Again, no one deescalated and a mob formed around the fight.

Everyone recorded the incident…I watched him get curb stomped. It was really extreme. Like a bad episode of Black Mirror. No one did anything to stop it, everyone was just filming and watching.

The only thing that seemed to stop the whole scenario was when a tall, wiry and really stoned gay guy named Cameron near my group began twerking and the whole mob of people ran at him and began to dance around him.

Cameron, the witness wrote, got nervous and said he was too high and didn’t really know what was happening “only that he felt like the only thing he could do about the energy was to dance.”

Sounds silly, but he probably saved someone’s life with a twerk! People started dancing, but there was still a lot of negativity in the air. People started dispersing and the dancing probably staved off anymore fights until the police surrounded the place.

When I was leaving the place there was a man being treated in a fire truck and there was a woman talking to police who had his blood on her. I was standing next to the fire truck waiting for my Uber. A girl in my group said she heard the girl who had blood on her that her friend got stabbed.

The overwhelming issue here was not just the trash everywhere (which was sad) but the lack of any sort of police presence around the park. There was no reason for any of the fighting. Had there been a friendly police presence around the park like there was around the parade the entire situation would have been avoided.

The entire time the fight was occurring I kept thinking “this will be stopped any second by an officer we don’t realize is there.”

There was so much alcohol and drug use, of course there was going to be a fight. By the time the police arrived we all were already dispersing from the area so of course no arrests were made. This group of guys totally jumped the kid and bolted the second the dancing started.

In a follow up e-mail, the witness added that after the beating incident,

It was starting to get dark and cold. I’d already given baby wipes to several people throwing up on the street corners. Everyone was just really drunk. There would have been way more fighting had the police not arrived when they did. Traffic was really congested from everything going on in the city so the response time was definitely after the fighting ended. The police arrived around 8:30  p.m. and completely surrounded the place with firetrucks and police motorcycles. I got worried for a moment that I had been overzealous with calling them, but when I saw some girl in her little raver outfit with someone else’s blood on her arms I was glad I made the call. A man was inside the firetruck was definitely being treated for injuries. But by the time police arrived the people in the fight had pretty much taken off. There needed to be a friendly police presence around Dolores making sure people were safe there as well, and it kind of felt like Dolores was the one place without security.

Here is David Hansen’s video of the scene:

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12 Comments

  1. “This is my fourth Pride and usually everyone ends at Dolores on Sunday, but I’ve never seen it get that nuts.” Well, if I had gone, this would have been my 41st Pride, but I had to stop going because of all the drunk millennials. They are now ruining most public events in SF.

  2. It seems you cant go anywhere without someone causing issues with the people that come out to enjoy pride and be with neighbors and friends. This City was never like this before 2010. the younger people are causing all this

    1. So true! It’s the violent millenial techies that did it! Those techies always fight with other people and cause violence all over the city. Ever since their arrival, gang members and bridge and tunnelers stopped causing problems and became outstanding citizens.

  3. If the police were there someone would be crying about police ruining the vibe. You can’t have it both ways!

    1. Exactly. They are so triggered by cops until something like this happens. Then its “where were the cops?!” Also, anyone blaming this on tech or oakland is an idiot. Sf has its own indigenous gangs who have been around a LONG time. Own it. Look into what is happening in the schools where you pretty much have to kill someone to get suspended.

  4. We were in the area on Saturday and it had been a while since I had come to visit the city where I was born and raised. It has changed, in a very bad way. The vibe of the city used to be very mellow and the people had way different energy about them. I went to Ocean Beach to clear my mind because I felt like I had lost something, and sure enough the ocean seemed to be the same one I remember so it was comforting, plus there was a family of whales just off the shoreline that were far more interesting than anything I could have found at Dolores Park. Good bye San Francisco, you have changed into something dark and violent.

  5. EXACTLY like black mirror ‘white bear’. People need to put down their cell phones & INTERVENE. This shouldn’t be possible. There’s some sick decay in a society where that many people can stomach VIDEO taping this & not DO anything about it. And I’m grossed out that the pre-empt to that bystander quote about this glaring issue was Mission Local asking for the videos! Seriously?!?!? Shame on sooooo many people right now.

  6. While I get the celebratory aspect of Pride, it kinda sucks that it just devolves into a drunken mess. I would actually take my daughter to teach her more about it but I’m not taking her around a bunch of out of control people.

  7. My question is WHY was there not a heavy police presence? The park has become a destination park for criminal activity. I just can’t believe they were not there IN FORCE! Every year “Pride” gets worse. We are seriously considering moving OUT after 30 years on Hancock St – a block from the park! I am a forth generation native and I have never seen anything like what happened this weekend. It’s a city-wide, City Hall problem. The quality of life issues in the neighborhoods is deteriorating every year. It breaks my heart. I loved growing up in this city.

    1. What do you mean “has become”? All Kinds of people have always used the park, including criminals. There were drug dealers there all the time when i was a kid in the 1990s. People got robbed, there were fights, shootings, etc. But yeah, “the good old days” are always better, i guess, even when they weren’t…

      The two things that seems objectively worse to me are the 24/7 crowds and garbage. It’s been that way ever since the hipster invasion began back around 2005-2006, and the park became ultra trendy. It was more of a “normal” park experience (albeit a big city one, with some big city problems) before then.

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