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$25K Donated To Vandalized SF Mission District Businesses

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Vandals attack the Mission District police station in San Francisco on April 30, 2012. (CBS)

Vandals attack the Mission District police station in San Francisco on April 30, 2012. (CBS)

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SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — San Francisco-based Wells Fargo on Wednesday announced it was donating $25,000 to help small businesses in the city’s Mission District rebuild after protesters vandalized more than 20 businesses in the neighborhood on Monday.

Shortly after 9 p.m. Monday, a splinter group that left a nearby Occupy gathering at Dolores Park wreaked havoc as they walked down Valencia Street and other streets.

Protesters damaged more than three dozen businesses and vehicles, as well as smashing windows at the Mission Police Station and splattering the building with paint, police said.

The protesters eventually dispersed near 12th and Folsom streets and only one person was arrested, a male who was cited for vehicle code violations and resisting arrest and was later released, according to police.

In response to the vandalism, Wells Fargo today announced the $25,000 grant, which will be managed by the Valencia Corridor Merchants Association and the Lower 24th Street Merchants and Neighbors Association.

“As San Francisco’s hometown bank, Wells Fargo is passionate about supporting the communities where we live and work, and it’s important to help our local merchants make the repairs they need to reopen for business,” Michael Billeci, president of the bank’s San Francisco Bay region, said in a statement.

Erick Arguello, president of the Lower 24th Street group, thanked Wells Fargo for giving money to the small businesses damaged by the vandalism.

“It’s really difficult right now with the economy, and when something unfortunate like what happened occurs, it makes things worse for everybody,” Arguello said.

Another fundraising effort is also under way for the small businesses along Valencia Street.

WePay, a Palo Alto-based company that allows users to raise money via crowdsourcing on its website, is being used by people to give back to the businesses.

A goal of $10,000 was set and more than $4,700 had already been donated as of Wednesday evening, according to WePay spokeswoman Pam Radgowski.

Radgowski said raising that amount “is pretty impressive for just a local initiative” on the website, which has also been used for national issues such as the Trayvon Martin murder case in Florida.

“It’s people in the neighborhood just trying to do good,” she said. “Every once in a while you’ll see something like this for a fire or something and all the neighbors pitch in.”

More information about the fundraising campaign can be found at https://www.wepay.com/donations/repair-vandalized-businesses-in-the-mission.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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