Car on sidewalk 24th Street Mcdonalds
A car parked on the sidewalk of the 24th Street McDonalds. The driver, allegedly drunk, jumped the sidewalk. Photo taken Jan. 8, 2023 by Eleni Balakrishnan

The San Francisco Police Department arrested a man today who gave passersby a scare earlier in the day as his car jumped the sidewalk at 24th Street in front of McDonald’s. No one was hurt in the incident, which occurred just after noon. 

The driver, who police allege was intoxicated, is cooperating with authorities as they continue an investigation, a police spokesperson said. No charges have yet been filed. 

The driver was allegedly headed south on Mission Street before veering left toward 24th Street, landing abruptly on the corner of sidewalk where McDonald’s is located, according to Cesar Canales, who sells jeans on the northwest 24th St. BART plaza.

“Thank God, he didn’t hit anyone,” Canales said in Spanish. “Obviously, everyone was surprised.” 

Police said officers responded to a call about a driver who fell asleep at the wheel. Officers said the man appeared to be intoxicated. The man looked to be in his forties, Canales said. 

Francisco Galindo was inside the McDonald’s when he suddenly noticed  a black Toyota sedan outside the fast food joint. “They were scared,” he said of some of the McDonald’s patrons. “They didn’t know what was going on.” 

A photo taken by a passerby shows the black sedan just in front of the Mission Street crosswalk button in front of the McDonald’s. A crowd of onlookers hung around the spectacle.

The driver and car stayed put on the corner until police and an ambulance arrived. The driver went to the hospital, and police removed the car from the corner, Galindo said. By 1:45 p.m., the car was gone. 

Photo by Eleni Balakrishnan

The driver did not appear to resist, nor did he say anything, according to Canales. He said the situation was resolved “calmly” and quickly. Martín Ramirez, a street vendor who sells jewelry at the northwest plaza, shrugged it off. “No pasa nada.” 

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REPORTER. Annika Hom is our inequality reporter through our partnership with Report for America. Annika was born and raised in the Bay Area. She previously interned at SF Weekly and the Boston Globe where she focused on local news and immigration. She is a proud Chinese and Filipina American. She has a twin brother that (contrary to soap opera tropes) is not evil.

Follow her on Twitter at @AnnikaHom.

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