Andrés Patino, a public outreach coordinator with the Recreation and Parks Department, was doing outreach for the LoveDolores campaign on Sunday, when they ran across a woman taking down signs and rope that restricted people from entering the playground at the south end of the park.
Patino, who uses they/them as pronouns, told the woman it was not okay. She launched into a vitriolic and, at times, racist rant. No children appear in the video so it is unclear if she had any with her at the time of the incident. Patino did not see children with her.
Approaching Patino and waving around the scissors she was using to cut the rope, the woman first said that signs and barriers were “unlawful” (Patino is a city employee who was carrying out city policy) and “unconstitutional” (no lawsuits have been filed yet). She then called Patino a “dumb sheep” and told them “go to the hospital and tell them to kill you on a ventilator like they’re doing to thousands of others.”
“We paid for this park. You don’t get to take our property,” she said. “We paid for it.”
She then called Patino, who was born in Colombia and immigrated to the United States when they were 9 years old, “a little migres” or “nigress.” (Patino does not know exactly what she called them but said it was clearly a slur that was meant to be “intentionally hurtful” and “intentionally racist.”)
“Go back to wherever the hell you came from,” she said. “Stop trying to steal the property we paid for.”
“Go back to wherever you came from,” she repeated.
A park ranger then approached and told her to leave. She seemed to comply, and then the video stops.
Patino did not know the woman’s identity, and Mission Local was not able to immediately identify the woman. They said the woman was escorted out of the park. It’s unclear if the woman was cited.
Patino detailed their experience in a Facebook post published on Monday. They also sent the video to Mission Local.
Patino told Mission Local that they were shaken by the incident and shared the video so the woman could be held accountable. Patino also wanted to point out that “this normally happens outside our realm but this happens in San Francisco too — it’s up to us to stand up and push for people to do better.”
Patino added in an email to us: “Since I was working at the time, I had to [refrain] myself and was unable to stand up to her comments. But [I] have decided I really want to find a way to hold her accountable for her actions and to hopefully avoid someone else being on the receiving end of this hateful person in the park again or somewhere else in the City.”
Recreation and Parks Department spokeswoman Tamara Aparton said that Park Rangers escorted the woman from the park, and “the investigation is continuing.”
“The video is especially painful to watch because Andrés works to ensure everyone feels safe and welcome in Dolores Park,” Aparton said. “As outreach coordinator at Dolores, Andrés works with visitors, merchants and the broader community to ensure Dolores Park is safe, clean and fun.”
“Hate simply has no home in Dolores Park or San Francisco,” she continued. “Our parks must be spaces where we are all equal and equally welcome; places where we can invest in mental and physical health and respect our neighbors’ fundamental instinct to do the same.”