Dead man. Stretcher. Dolores Park.
Police officers carry a dead man on a stretcher, escorted by a man carrying a bouquet of roses, on Saturday, Sept. 11, 2021, at 6:08 p.m. at Dolores Park near Dolores and 20th streets. A man selling roses attempted to give one to officers after a picnicking man nearby bought a rose to give. (Photo courtesy of Dorian Salvador)

Amid the usual festivities of a typical Saturday afternoon at Dolores Park, an unexpected sight cropped up over the weekend: A dead man in the bushes near the playground. 

At around 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, officers arrived at Dolores Park and located a man among the bushes near the playground, said Officer Robert Rueca, a San Francisco Police Department spokesman. 

The officers summoned medics, who pronounced the man deceased, Rueca said. 

Officers found no evidence of foul play; the Medical Examiner is investigating the cause of death, Rueca said. Messages for the Medical Examiner have not yet been returned.

Zoe Soter, a resident in the neighborhood, said she saw the Medical Examiner’s truck in the late afternoon. 

The body was found behind and above the swings of the Helen Diller Playground, said a neighbor who asked to remain anonymous. Police officers surrounded the spot to keep onlookers away, and the body was eventually lifted over the railing and taken away.

The Helen Diller Playground was barricaded off on the morning of Sept. 14 for improvements. A dead man was discovered over the weekend in the bushes above and behind the swings. Photo by David Mamaril Horowitz

“I just felt awful for whoever it was, passing away,” the neighbor said.

The area was closed off this morning for playground improvements, the resident said.

This is a breaking story and will be updated as possible.

David Mamaril Horowitz

David’s one of those San Francisco natives who gets excited whenever City College is mentioned. He has journalism degrees from there and San Francisco State University, graduating from the latter in...

Eleni Balakrishnan

Eleni is our reporter focused on policing in San Francisco. She first moved to the city on a whim over eight years ago, and the Mission has become her home. Follow her on Twitter @miss_elenius.

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  1. No circumstances mentioned at all? Just going to leave that up for wild speculation? I mean is homicide suspected, homeless person of old age, accident? Etc

  2. I suppose we wouldn’t want the reporter to make things up. Maybe folks knew him and will come forward.
    Lots of drug overdoses these days. I wake people up on a regular basis and carry NARCAN.

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