An Aug. 6 altercation in front of Manny’s Cafe led to the arrest of two demonstrators after police said the protestors assaulted a longtime Mission resident. Police arrested Dayton Andrews, 26, and Max Goodwin, 27, on that day, but released them 17 hours later. 

According to Dan Mayfield, a San Jose based attorney who consulted with the activists, the charges against the two men were dropped on Aug. 12 pending further investigation.

But the alleged victim, a 63-year-old man, said he plans to press charges against Andrews, Goodwin and three others he says punched and manhandled him. 

The man said he was walking near Manny’s at 3092 16th St. in the evening hours of Aug. 6 when he saw the men banging on the cafe’s windows. When he pulled out his phone to record video, the alleged victim said he was attacked.

“It was very confusing. I was surrounded by a sea of bodies and they were screaming, ‘Who the fuck are you?’ right in my face,” said the man, who asked that his name not be published as he fears he’ll become the subject of a harassment campaign.

The two demonstrators who were arrested during the ongoing protests outside Manny’s, a cafe and community meeting place at 16th and Valencia streets, have denied the allegations. 

The charges – felony false imprisonment, conspiracy to commit a crime, second-degree robbery, assault with force, and misdemeanor battery – have been dropped for the moment, but the bond premium on the $75,000 bail is non-refundable. 

To pay their balance of $11,000, Andrews and Goodwin turned to GoFundMe and have raised $5,980 from 127 donors as of Aug. 22. 

Officer Joseph Tomlinson, a San Francisco Police Department spokesman, said police were called to the scene of an alleged assault at around 6 p.m. on Aug. 6. 

Upon arriving at the cafe, police spoke to the victim who said he had been walking by and recorded the protesters. When he told them to stop banging on the windows, five demonstrators allegedly surrounded him and began pushing and striking him.

Activists started routinely protesting outside of Manny’s earlier in the year, arguing that the venue further gentrifies the neighborhood and objecting to Manny’s proprietor Manny Yekutiel’s support of Israel’s right to exist. 

Andrews said he was singled out by police even though he had stayed away from the main group of protesters. He said he did remember that an older man had been heckling the group and alleged that he stuck his camera in the protester’s faces, but Andrews said that he stayed away from the pack and parties involved. 

“There were like 30 people there. I don’t know why I was chosen,” Andrews said.

A video posted on Twitter shows the moment Andrews was arrested, followed by an 18-second clip with Goodwin already in handcuffs. The videos, all under 30 seconds, do not show the alleged altercation or scuffle that ostensibly predicated the arrests.

Goodwin said the charges were false, and that police did not have any proof.

“People were looking and filming. It’s ridiculous. It was all out in the open,” Goodwin said.

Yekutiel said in an email that he had been moderating an event discussing methods of ending homelessness in the city when the alleged assault happened. 

As we have always done and always will, we support the First Amendment right to free assembly and free speech insomuch as it does not negatively impact the physical or emotional safety of our staff or patrons. However, we strongly oppose violence of any kind, and will continue to ensure a safe, secure and respectful place for peaceful and constructive dialogue as is our long-stated mission,” Yekutiel wrote.