Paneez Kosarian at the weekend's press conference held by Embarcadero for All and organized by Sam Singer.

It’s a damn shame that Paneez Kosarian, a young SoMa condo-dweller, was last week accosted and physically attacked by an apparently homeless man outside her residence, an altercation caught on video and spread far and wide. 

It’s also a damn shame that both prior and subsequent legal consequences for her alleged attacker, Austin James Vincent, have been so clumsily handled. He was, initially, released into San Francisco’s Pretrial Diversion program rather than incarcerated. Public outcry led Judge Christine Van Aken to subsequently order Vincent be outfitted with a tracking ankle bracelet, and bemoan she was not shown the disturbing video during the initial hearing. 

That outcry also led San Francisco politicians, many of whom had just gone to the mat to protect SF Pretrial from being eliminated by the state, to question the efficacy of the 43-year-old program in this high-profile case — when studies have shown 96 percent of accused criminals under its care in “Assertive Case Management” do not re-offend.

And, to top things off, Vincent’s googly-eyed booking photo was noted by a woman who alleges he in February threatened her with a knife; he may be re-booked by police as soon as today.  

So, clearly, there are many legitimate questions to ask about this man Vincent, and how this city has dealt with him in the past, present — and future. 

And Kosarian has done that. But she’s done more. Over the weekend, in a press conference arranged by PR maven and “Master of Disaster” Sam Singer, and hosted by Embarcadero for All — the neighborhood group opposing city plans to construct a large homeless Navigation Center on the waterfront — Kosarian was the star attraction. 

“Please take action,” she said, fighting back sobs. “Don’t build this here.”

Austin James Vincent, and his eye-opening mugshot.

Again, it’s a damn shame that Kosarian was attacked and feared for her life. The terror of physically engaging with an aggressive and deranged person who may be capable of anything is horrifying. I know this personally. 

But it’s also a damn shame that Kosarian has parlayed her victimhood in this way, and is grafting together the wholly unrelated subjects of Austin James Vincent — and this city’s questionable handling of him — and the ongoing plans to provide shelter and treatment to homeless individuals in SoMa. 

Kosarian is, rather unsubtly, casting every homeless person in San Francisco as a drug-addicted, mentally ill, would-be assailant. And of course that’s wrong, both logically and morally. 

Once you move past the inalienable power of a photogenic female victim of an aberrant physical crime — on video — the logic crumbles with alarming speed. 

Austin James Vincent is not a Black Friday shopper; he is not camping out in SoMa awaiting the opening of a Navigation Center. He’s already here, with his problems. So are others. 

In San Francisco, there are many homeless people, many drug-addicted people, and many mentally ill people. These are three often overlapping constituencies, but they are not one and the same. So, whatever the reason Vincent allegedly attacked Kosarian, he didn’t do it because he was merely homeless. Cracking down on homeless people as a result would appear to be an exceptionally crude and ill-applied step. 

Rather, if the concern is that there are homeless, drug-addicted, and mentally ill people in the neighborhood — and there are, demonstrably — one solution would be to provide them with a place to sleep and/or access services. 

But that doesn’t seem to be the M.O. for Embarcadero for All — a coterie of largely high-end condo dwellers who made international news by starting a GoFundMe to hire a lawyer to fight the city’s Navigation Center plans and have now brought in Sam Singer to feed the media beast. 

Rather, they seem to find it inconvenient that there are homeless people in their vicinity and they want them to go away. The end. 

The group’s president, Wallace Lee, has tweeted that it’s irresponsible to put homeless services in dense, crowded neighborhoods.

With all due respect, have you ever been to San Francisco? Absent the Farallones or, say, Red Rock, you’re not going to find too many places to drop people where there aren’t already people. 

All of this assumes, however, that this is a good-faith argument being made on a logical and factual basis. None of that appears to be the case.

Like what you’re reading? Become a paying reader. News is not free. 

Lee’s claim that crime is up in the area, in fact, belies the actual crime statistics. And law-and-order-driven approaches to homelessness are, in both a dollars- and outcomes-driven analysis, not beneficial. The Budget and Legislative Analyst in 2016 found that the nearly $21 million spent enforcing “quality-of-life” crimes regarding homeless people was essentially squandered, with no improvements to show for it. In the same year, the Budget Analyst also found that it was, by a huge margin, far more cost-beneficial to minister to homeless people who were housed or sheltered than to treat them, haphazardly, on the streets. 

And, while neighbors have inveighed against Navigation Centers in myriad San Francisco neighborhoods, an analysis by UC Berkeley public policy graduate student Miki Bairstow found that “regardless of the site, there is no change in crime trends following Navigation Center open dates.” 

She additionally found that Navigation Centers did not depress real-estate values — as anyone perusing rental or sales prices in the Mission would know.

The video of the horrific attack on Kosarian, her subsequent tearful speech, and the all-but-certain looping of both of the above in a FOX News spectacular on the results of runaway liberalism in municipal government are powerful motivating forces. 

All of this is being sucked down in the media, incidentally, like pineapple punch. Sam Singer knows his business. Scientific studies, meanwhile, note that one in 20 violent incidents in the United States is committed by a mentally ill person; a small percentage of mentally ill people are violent. And yet four in 10 news stories about mental illness connect it with violence. 

Viral videos are not the ideal basis upon which to form policies. Charting public furor based on social media observations is not the best manner of determining what would benefit the denizens of SoMa, both housed and unhoused. Evidence-based studies like those cited above are. 

San Francisco politicians have set themselves up by overpromising Navigation Centers for years. The city has unsubtly repurposed the mission of the centers, but not the catchy name; not all that many people are “navigating” anywhere outside of a bus ride, because there’s scant housing to navigate to.

But Navigation Centers are, still, a chance for beleaguered people to get inside. To be connected with treatment and services. And, separate and apart from people’s lives and well-being, it’s bottom-line cheaper to deal with folks when they’re sheltered than unsheltered. 

So, again, it’s a shame that Paneez Kosarian had to undergo what she underwent. The city owes her, and every victim of a violent crime, its utmost effort at justice and prevention. 

We should feel compassion for her. But our compassion can only go so far when she attempts to leverage it toward undoing compassion for others, and advancing provably false and/or unproven, reactionary claims. 

It remains to be seen what fate awaits Austin James Vincent. But we should all take pains to ensure he doesn’t become this city’s homeless Willie Horton. 



Joe Eskenazi

Joe was born in San Francisco, raised in the Bay Area, and attended U.C. Berkeley. He never left. “Your humble narrator” was a writer and columnist for SF Weekly from 2007 to 2015, and a senior...

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  1. Compassion can only go so far for hordes of criminals and vagrants who use “homelessness’ as cover to do their drugs and crime. It’s out of control and acing like responsible citizens should put up with these fetid conditions is the real disconnect from reality. This 30 year long, failed march of civic degradation …. must end ! I support her and her call for some real sanity and an end to conspicuous and mindless “compassion”.

    1. Sorry but anyone who uses the word “hordes” to describe poor people has lost all credibility before finishing the first sentence. Should they go back to where they came from? Are “they” destroying your rich white sanctuary?

      1. You don’t care about reality anyway, being indoctrinated in mindless “compassion” i.e. , Street vagrants can do no wrong.

      2. You clearly look down from your ivory castle and watch as the rest of us suffer at the hands of frightening crazed vagrants. You watch and call them victims, we call the police… who do nothing. Check your privilege.

    2. Rather, they seem to find it inconvenient that there are homeless people in their vicinity and they want them to go away. The end.

      This is the BOTTOM LINE. People in groups like that Embarcadero for All simply want the poor and mentally ill to leave their view.

      The damage this woman has done to the mentally ill who are not violent is so wrong. Equating mentally ill with violence is wrong. She did not deserve what happened to her, and I too would have freaked out. But as one who works in the mental health field, I would never, ever, assume all those with mental illness are a danger to anyone else.

      Until we build more navigation centers, and low income housing, this problem will not go away. So these folks should be fighting for more money to build low income housing, and more money for mental health services, as a lack of both are the reason they see these homeless in their neighborhoods.

      1. Low income housing doesn’t work. MOST homeless in SF are drawn here by tolerant liberal politics that enable their behavior; be it drug addiction, mental illness or a sad combination of both diseases. Everyone knows that. The only people that ignore the facts are the board of supes and the non profit homeless execs that make $200k a year in tax funded salaries. Homeless people are not living on the streets hoping for housing. If housing was the key driver to their problem, they could move to any number of smaller cities in California like Stockton where housing is plentiful and 75% cheaper then SF. San Francisco even has a formal bus program to connect homeless people to friends, families or opportunities that will improve their lifestyles.

        As for Joe, the author…doesn’t sound like you lived in SF long. Just another wayward lefty liberal transplant from some crappy place that found your tribe in the 415. There is an abundance of city space that could be zoned for homeless navigation centers that have less of an impact to congested neighborhoods like South Beach. Speaking of which, since the navigation center is owned by the city, and since it’s sitting on multi million dollar property values, why didn’t the city sell the lot to private developers and use the funds for the mayor to indulge in her dream navigation center in the south eastern part of SF / candlestick area / or the Naval Shipyard area? The city could of even set up some creative ways for the developers to fund homeless programs and make sure that at least 20% of any new development had below market units. Here’s the answer: That plan, while interesting, doesn’t fit her re-election timeline and 1,000 bed campaign promise. That’s what this homeless navigation center is all about: mayor breed’s re-election victory.

        1. Sir or madam —

          I was born here. And my advice to you is to stop typing with your face.



  2. “We should feel compassion for her. But our compassion can only go so far when she attempts to leverage it toward undoing compassion for others, and advancing provably false and/or unproven, reactionary claims. ”

    Thank you. You said what was on my mind, and with much more eloquence.

    1. Seems like the liberals want their cake and eat it, too… They claim that it’s unfair to group the homeless in a bad light just because one homeless person is a danger to society. But it’s ok to demonize all gl law abiding gun owners due to the actions of a small percentage of all gun owners. Isn’t this being hypocritical?

  3. I’m a little confused by the recommendations in this article. Navigation Centers seem great in theory, but unless their participants remain occupied inside the center during the day (not just sleeping there at night) you are basically just filling the streets in the neighborhood with people experiencing homelessness. These people unfortunately suffer from a high level of mental illness, drug use, and alcoholism. When you combine this with lax restrictions on public drug use, defication, and property crimes you significantly reduce the quality of life in the neighborhood. Neighborhoods would likely be more receptive to homeless intervention programs if they were full time programs that didn’t spill over into the surrounding streets and were coupled with increased enforcement of property crimes laws.

    1. Like he points out in the article, all these homeless people are already here, by definition on the streets. They’re already experiencing problems and for the ones that cause problems, they’re already causing problems. Not having any ability to recieve help isn’t making them not exist.

      Every neighborhood should have a navigation center and the neighborhoods with the highest percentage of tech people who are transplants moving here to make tons of money and take up housing in the middle of a housing crisis should have two.

      Trying to keep them out of certain neighborhoods to keep those neighborhoods nicer is kind of like what they say about all those rape prevention tips that are like “don’t wear short skirts and never walk alone at night” it basically just means we’re not addressing the underlying issues, just make sure he rapes the other girl.

      A 24 hour facility where homeless people aren’t allowed to leave while unrealistic and not cost effective and lacking in the ability to help more than a few people at a time also sounds a lot like a prison for people you don’t want to have to see in your neighborhood.

      Like, dude, we’re not trying to treat all homeless people like criminals and lock them away because you want all the fun parts of San Francisco without any of the icky sad parts. People accessing navigation centers, if you’ve bothered to read any of the rest of mission locals coverage of homelessness, run the gamut from families, to people like this guy to working homeless to addicts that need help. They need help and the city should be providing it, attempts to stop people from receiving that help are inhuman.

      I’m glad they caught him, and I’m sorry she went through a scary situation, unfortunately the dozen or so terrifying encounters I’ve had in the 8 years I’ve been living in San Francisco weren’t caught on tape. Until the infrastructure changes or a miracle happens, living in San Francisco comes with these encounters. You can’t buy your way out of them, you have to address the real human issues at the center of them.

        1. Do not start that creepy sf native better than everyone who managed to move more than 7 miles from where they were born crap with me. You made zero point with your comment and you sound like a fedora wearing incel with your pretentious and lame “methinks not”. Do you also say “greetings, sportsfans” at the beginning of your sad blog posts that no one reads? Come back with an actual counter argument or screw off.

        2. Also, I say in my original comment that I’ve lived here for 8 years. And its methinks, one word, not two. I guess whatever fancy private school you went to in the city didn’t make you smarter than me. Or you know, even as smart.

          1. SOMA was a perfectly pleasant, though underdeveloped, place to live in the 00s, and the Tenderloin had plenty of gang violence in the 90s but the Cambodians kept it clear of the dope dealers and crazies which post up on every corner. Thinking today’s street experience is a natural part of big city life is crazy; it wasn’t even true here fifteen years ago.

      1. Letting someone who has severe mental illness or a drug addiction wander the street is cruel and uncompassionate. Pretending that this is a manifestation of their free will and human autonomy is delusional. Someone is that state doesn’t have the will to choose. No reasonable person would let their adult child or loved live like that. They need an intensive intervention that can likely only be accomplished through a closed facility that addresses their underlying issues and gets them back on their feet. That is not a jail, but obviously poses some difficult ethical trade-offs. At the same time, letting them exist “freely” until something like this happens and then they end up in an actual jail seems much more destructive. SF doesn’t have housing for anything like the current scale of the homeless population and likely won’t until the zoning code is changed and the skyline begins to resemble a Hong Kong or Singapore. I’m all for real changes to SF housing, but in the short to medium term we need real solutions that better weigh the trade-offs to everyone involved. Both the welfare of those experiencing homelessness and the quality of life of the neighbors matter.

        1. Dennis, a Navigation Center isn’t just a shelter where people sleep at night. they have wraparound services that evaluate all the folks that are referred there. if someone is mentally unstable such that they would be a danger to others, the staff will take precaution in ensuring public safety. Navigation Center perform an “intensive intervention” with the services available on site.

          meanwhile, many of our “shelters” allow just the very thing you are describing, but with little to no oversight or evaluation.

          it sounds like you are in favor of conservatorship for our neediest residents who have no other support or means… i’d focus on making that a reality instead of criticizing the existence of a location that provides case management, health benefits, and shelter to those who need it.

        2. You make comments as if you know and personally examined all the mentally ill homeless in SF. Are you are psychiatrist? You have the gall to call me delusional? Maybe stop the name calling and do some homework.

          Dude, we do not have enough residential facilities that provide care 24/7.

          What you are encouraging is simply LOCKING THEM UP so you do not have to see them.

          And you are using hyperbole too, assuming we must look like Hong Kong in order to house the homeless just shows you want them GONE. Be honest at least, you want them out of your sight. And really do not care how that is accomplished.

  4. “would-be assailant. And of course that’s wrong, both logically and morally.”
    The thinking of a twenty/thirty-something able-bodied male.

  5. Your point may be interesting and valid, and you’re always a great writer, but brother do you ever miss the forest for the trees. And this is a full on forest fire. That we put up with these little crimes and assaults on our decency it at all is just astounding. It’s ruining the City. A sane person cannot look away. Insane people look away, or just talk about compassion. We should be compassionate, yes, fund the programs, raise taxes, build housing, try our best, do all that—-while still removing the people from their filth in the streets, prioritizing safe and clean streets, prioritizing protecting our families and our children and our workers who are trying to function. The laws that used to allow us to arrest people for these petty crimes—the broken window theory—are on the books for a reason. They enforce them in NYC and it works. SF should look to them. The umbrella term “homeless” is just not cutting it, not close at all. Kasarian is right. Sorry.

    1. Removing the people from the streets.

      So you just want them out of your sight.
      You did say we should try our best to offer housing and medical care as if an afterthought.

    2. Why do you say sorry as if your opinion or response to this article means anything?

      Self inflated.

  6. Poor mr . Edward French, he fell outside the 96% that do not reoffend. His killer was released mere days before his murder.

  7. “Rather, if the concern is that there are homeless, drug-addicted, and mentally ill people in the neighborhood — and there are, demonstrably — one solution would be to provide them with a place to sleep and/or access services. ”

    This is fair enough. However, another solution is to just jail them or send them back to their families and cities they originate from. I think the people who live at the embarcadero want this, and not the other solution. It’s like if i wanted to paint my house pink, but you hate pink…. so what, it’s my house.

    I imagine you live somewhere far and tucked away from all these problems.

    1. So jail someone for being homeless is your solution?
      You are certainly not going overboard on compassion dude

      1. Jail has a roof, food, social services, and an opportunity to get clean. The street has violence, drug addiction, theft, prostitution, public defecation, and negatively affects the quality of life for the people who actually pay taxes to support social services to help these people. We don’t let dogs live like this, but we allow people to? We just closed Juvenile Hall. Let’s use it to house, feed, and care for some of our homeless neighbors, whether with or without their express permission, until they can get clean, get medicated, and get back on their feet.

        1. That is such a load. Jail DOES NOT OFFER drug counseling services as a 24/7 residential mental health facility would.

          I hope you never suffer from mental illness Kent, and someone decides you should be removed from anyone’s sight, jail is just fine, even if you have not done anything warring it.

          The lack of empathy I see in this thread makes me very very sad.

          1. I agree on the empathy bit. I find the lack of it disturbing, but i think you’re the one lacking it.

            Instead of building a navigation center, why don’t you just build another salesforce tower sized building, with smaller apartments, and literally house every homeless person in San Francisco?

            I didn’t see you mention non homeless people with mental issues. Why limit this kind of compassion to homeless alone?

            Theoretically, drugs shouldn’t be available in jails, so why offer drug counseling services?

            Do you have any compassion for the mentally ill in other cities? Other states? What about other countries? Do you have compassion for the hungry?

            Building 2 salesforce towers, selling / renting, would generate so much revenue that SF could probably solve the problem of world hunger.

            But hey, where would your ego be if we actually solved some problems.

  8. Victim blaming much? Ms. Kosarian went through a horrible ordeal where she has to legitimately fear for her life outside her own home in a “supposedly” world-renowned city. She didn’t do anything wrong to get herself in that situation. First — let’s be real, the “crime” statistics is skewed — SFPD now has policy not to book crimes. Were any of the studies adjusted for this policy change that crimes are simply not reported/recorded? While I agree that mentally ill, drug-addict and “regular” homeless are three perhaps distinct groups — the article’s writer mixed his “compassion” for 1 or 2 groups across all 3. Bottomline — Ms. Kosarian has zero duty to use her platform to do anything other than what she believes in — who are we to criticize her? Were we ever in her situation? Were our loved ones?

  9. Thank you. She is a victim of a horrible crime, and that is tragic. It is also tragic that she is a pawn, spewing emotion driven policy proposals that have no basis in research or common sense.

    1. The policy of compassion and understanding that we’ve been working with the last 30 years hasn’t worked either. Our rates of homelessness have skyrocketed. When sane people are evicted from their housing or cannot afford housing in a specific area, they move to places that they can afford. San Franciscans are sick and tired of living in a world-class third-world city filled with dangerously mentally ill people, feces, and open-air drug markets. It feels more and more like an open air insane asylum every day.

      1. Please LEAVE then, I am so tired of you all who just WHINE.
        When solutions are suggested, you raise a million dollars to stop them.

        1. And when the city proposes solutions like asking nonprofits for effectiveness reports, they whine too. You can ask Joe the author of this report all about it: he was covering it a decade ago. Would love if they left instead.

      2. Kent – you are spreading misinformation. I can not find homeless population studies going back 30 years, but in 2004, the homeless population was 8640. In 2019 it was 8011. Maybe in your brain, that is considered skyrocketing. But not by most people who look at facts in a balanced way. If you want to live in the world of alternative facts and fake news, post your lies and associated trash on Brietbart. Have a nice day.

      3. Open air drug markets are one of the things that made sf a “world class city” in the first place. I think we need yuppy navigation centers to relocate all the squares to the suburbs

  10. Thank you Joe. Your balanced analysis is right on. I spend a lot of time on the waterfront and know that a navigation center will improve safety for all.

  11. As a small petite brown woman, I am almost always singled out and harassed by mentally unstable, homeless men on the streets of San Francisco. I’ve been lucky so far that it hasn’t escalated into what Paneez had to deal with. It is very brave of her to come forward and speak up for all of us!

  12. Completely anecdotal but been keeping an eye on who exactly is hangin’ on the street nearby.

    Seems the majority are ambulatory, working age white males.
    Most are not in a state of total decrepitude.
    The only ones witnessed (so far) shooting up or smoking it fit the above profile.

    Central American males who ride death trains and cross death desserts to get here are doing construction and roofing work. And yeah – some are in the merchandising biz too.

    Our African American brothers growing up in an unending cycle of poverty and oppression – they’re represented too – usually in worse shape. However not in the ratio expected.

    So – what is the issue, malady or defect with ambulatory, working age white males?
    Are they more subject to mental illness and the “disease” of addiction?

    Being born a white male in this country is 90% of the game – the other 10% is just showing up on time.

    They cleaned up our Mr. Vincent for another photo shoot and he looks like – well he still looks creepy – like … uh … can’t find a better description so I’ll borrow this one from another comment – an ambulatory, working age white male investment banker.

    1. To be blunt, you are only seeing what you see. Black males are 7% of the population yet do more than 53% of all murders in the country per year, and about 30% of all other other types of crime that is not murdering other people [which is 4x out of proportion to their numbers]….Those numbers come from the FBI itself, and they are facts, so yes the white community has some homeless working age while males but they are not the ones doing most of the crime in the country. Hispanic males also do crime out of proportion to their numbers in the population btw, this is also backed up with facts by the FBI crime stats. So what you are seeing is not typical, if it was typical then it would be white males causing most of the crime in the country BUT that’s not the case – this is ALSO backed up by the FBI crime stats.

      The FBI’s website with the stats is:

  13. This womyn was victimized by a white cis man and now you, another white cis man, are attacking her again. I’m with her!

  14. To me, the only way this issue gets solved is if there’s a place for people to go. We need enough beds to for everyone on the streets. We need 20 more navigation centers… right now. I lived near the navigation center on S Van Ness and 26th and it was fine. No issues at all. It’s a shame it’s not still in use. The giant parking lot at Pier #30 just south of the Bay Bridge has a huge amount of underused space. Let’s build it and get people off the streets!

    1. We need more navigation centers yes, but without perm. low income housing they will not work to get people into homes.

      We also need a LOT more residential beds where people with severe mental illness and addiction have a therapeutic place to get better or manage medications etc.

      Well off newcomers just want us to lock them all up and not pay a dime to fix the problem.

      1. That’s the response I hear all the time – that we need perm low incoming housing – and I agree we do BUT we don’t have it. It’s just not a near term solution to helping people right now. I just hear it and then comes the shrug and nothing gets done.

        Pier 30 / 32 is 13 acres and is (under) used as parking lot. Let’s say we could build temporary housing at 500 people per acre. That’s 6,000 people. Beds and a place to put your stuff. Field kitchens. And field clinics with a ton of medical professionals to evaluate people and see what can be done to help them. If someone is military and needs help doesn’t the VA have to take them?

        So a place people can go and sleep and get fed and get some help. Whats bad about this? Why can’t we try it?

        1. Temporary housing like jails are not the answer.
          Residential facilities staffed with appropriate medical clinicians and more low income housing is the only way to solve this problem.
          You just want to shove them in a parking lot away from you I suppose.

          1. You suppose wrongly. And while you wait for these thousands of magical low income housing units to suddenly appear, people on the street suffer.

  15. How on earth have we come so far, that we consider attacks all day long on BART and MUNI and on the streets, to be just oh-big-deal?
    The amount of attacks never reported is staggering, People in this city are so beaten down by the liberal agenda that sends insane and drug-addicted to the streets, with no repercussions for their illegal activities, and no penalty for vagrancy or drunkenness or theft, that the average person just walks away. Report it, and find out how indifferent the cops are. They are beaten down also, and can only commiserate if and when they might show up.

    What follows from this kind of lawlessness is clear: either vigilante systems will go into place to punish the perps, with the bay as the dumping ground, or people will beg for a police state to protect them.
    Either way, it will be atrocious for the average person, and these poor folks our naive writer wants to pity: they’ll be dead or locked up in work camps. It happened in USSR, all of East Bloc, and Germany in the 1930’s. ASOZIALS were the first to be locked up. People rejoiced.

      1. Hmmm … another data point to the non-statistical anecdotal observation.
        51 – working age? – don’t personally know anybody whose retired at 51.
        This fellow is definitely ambulatory.

        So – any other input on the seeming over representation of ambulatory, working age white males among our troubled population?

        Or is this too sensitive a topic to profile individuals in this manner.

    1. Who’s agenda is it to close down mental health facilities and allow mentally unstable people to roam the streets to become drug addicted and even more unstable? That WAS NOT the liberal agenda that did that, thanks Reagan.

      Also, how can you say the amount of attacks never reported is staggering? There is literally no data on that unless you’ve taken a recent poll from people in SF who’ve been attacked and not reported it, that comment is stupid and extreme and does not support your point. Most homeless people are not “perps” and I agree that there has to be a better solution than letting mentally unstable people roam the streets without protection, but you’re grouping all homeless people together as criminals. Why? Because it’s inconvenient for you to have to walk around them when you visit from Modesto on the weekends? This is not the USSR, East Bloc, or Germany. There are better solutions that don’t criminalize people for being mentally unstable or poor.

      This is a systematic problem that has multiple issues including: available housing for homeless people, generalizations and stereotypes being made about homeless people, grouping mentally unstable people together with criminals, pressure on police to protect a city that is swarming with instability.

      1. Most of this improvement is a reduction in lead addled adults, changing nature of crime from intra-gang (which didn’t affect normal residents) to more random assaults like this one, and of course a shocking rise in petty crime. Our nationwide highest rates of petty crime could themselves warrant significant scrutiny.

        That helplessness drives down reporting rates is a well-understood phenomenon. Take a walk around the Tenderloin and come report back whether you think all crime is accurately reported.

        1. Where do you get your evidence that we have the highest rate of petty crime? And what do you consider petty crime?

          This was a violent crime. But they are rare in SF compared to many places.

  16. This article is not good. It’s all over the place and makes Paneez look like the bad person here. Is she misguided? Maybe. Sounds to me like the Embarcadero for All team latched on to her and caught her at an emotional high. The situation is complex and as a journalist, I think some deeper critical thinking is in order before you subject line a recent attack victim as accusing EVERY homeless person as mentally ill and drug addicted. I’d rather see an article about the people behind Embarcadero for All and why they decided to take advantage of a recently traumatized woman, in a highly emotional state.

  17. I agree that she was a victim of a horrible encounter with this lunatic. And guess what? She has the right to express herself however the hell she wants to. Just like you have the right to express your views as well. Quite frankly, compassion can only go so far (as someone else stated) before we feel that something has got to change. Even the good people of this city are sick and tired of this issue (homeless crisis) not being handled correctly or at all.

  18. Homeless (apologists) advocates = Gun (nuts) advocates

    Everyone in the middle is collateral damage if you don’t support their respective cause. Everyone in the middle must suffer because the needs of the few outweigh the needs of the community.

    Good luck all. Stay safe.

    1. Hi Sam, that seems to be a bit of a false equivalence. And a big part of it stems from a view that people who are advocating for the homeless, are advocating for people who have little to no voice of their own, and are marginalized in almost every possible way it is to be human.

      Whereas the majority of gun owners are open to reasonable restrictions and controls on guns. The primary advocacy arm for the gun movement is the NRA which is a hyper polarized, financially driven group that is beholden to no one

      1. 21st, ya I can see your point and agree. It’s just the one’s who shriek the loudest ( not only regards to guns but other issues) seem to drive the discussion because the media gravitates (possibly legitimizes) those thoughts at the cost (? Searching for a better word) of the majority. Though to be fair the majority isn’t always right either.

        Thanks for your thoughtful response.

  19. Liberal citizens being adversely effected by the liberal politicians and policies that they voted for. Many liberal citizens have decided they’ve had enough of the crime and crazy taxes and prices and drug addicts so they flee california for other states. Nothing wrong with escaping what you helped to destroy but please do the rest of us Americans a favor. When you do finally leave then leave your destructive voting habbits behind as well.

    1. While the alleged victim’s Twitter account now reads “Kosarianfard,” she has been quoted universally in the media as “Kosarian”
      — which is also the name used by Embarcadero for All in announcing this press conference and otherwise sending out material to the media. If she prefers one name over the other, we’ll gladly accommodate.


  20. Mentally ill people with violent tendencies are not the victims here. Women are the ones who are usually attacked, usually because they are seen as more vulnerable and less likely to cause damage to the attacker even if they do fight back. It’s unfair that the burden is on us to make sure we don’t inadvertently look at someone wrong. It’s just not right.

    1. Thank you! The author of this piece clearly came from a “contrite white male” POV and ironically utterly marginalized women in the process. Shameful.

  21. Paneez Kosarian merely commented on and answered questions about the attack perpetrated against her. She doesn’t have a “platform” or agenda to undermine the homeless. She has stated that she’s moving out of the city. That’s pretty much the apex pinnacle of having no endgame to smear the upstanding, drug addled, mentally ill homeless hordes of SF.

    1. This articles author is high on his own self righteousness. I am a 105 lb woman in my 20s who has been violated by a transient suffering from mental illness (groped and chased when I tried to help them with a food donation, funnily enough). Do I demonize all homeless people? No. Am I in denial that they ever do anything wrong/should have consequences? No. This is why South Park did an episode about SFers loving the smell of their own farts.

  22. The man who attacked her is a violent mentally ill BUM. He should be removed from society immediately.

  23. It is not the responsibility of victims who may be experiencing PTSD to use their “platform” or “fame” resulting from a horrific violation of their physical body to support SJW nonsense. Obviously not all homeless people are drug addled monsters. And not all SJW columnists are the very victim blamers they proclaim to hate. The latter is true here.
    – 25 year old woman in California who is ready to move out of this state that coddles the dregs of society and shames those who actually pay to live here and don’t commit crimes.

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