By Joe Vazquez

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS 5) — Residents in San Francisco’s Inner Sunset District are getting worried about a homeless woman’s increasingly violent attacks.

Simone Haas said she was pushing her 4-year old in a stroller to Golden Gate Park when the woman approached.

“She grabbed me with both hands and just started shaking me,” said Haas. “She said, ‘I’m going to hurt you’ and said ‘why are you being like this?’ And I’m just like, ‘I have no idea what you’re even talking about.'”

John Morales was just walking down the street when he was hit with a board from behind. A quick trip to the hospital later, he is wondering whether more could be done to prevent her attacks from getting worse.

“I have empathy because she’s suffering from mental illness,” said Morales. “Yet the system isn’t treating her.”

Neighbors told CBS 5 there is a long list of random acts of violence. A punch here. A full can of coke thrown there.

Neighbors identify the attacker as a homeless woman with an animal tattoo on her face who has been on the street for years and appears to be getting sicker. Residents say she constantly yells at strangers.

The victims call police quite often. In some cases, the attacker is given a ticket and is right back on the streets.

“While I want to be sympathetic, she is beating people up,” said Haas. “And I think enough is enough.”

CBS 5 caught up with the woman just as she was boarding a bus, but she declined to comment so we left her alone.

The mayor’s homeless policy director, Dariush Kayhan, said the system has huge cracks. Kayhan said tickets are routinely dismissed and the chronic offenders end up offending again instead of being flagged by the courts. In the system’s current configuration, all the city can hope for is that homeless people — even the violent ones — will accept an offer of shelter.

“It’s really frustrating to me,” Kayhan said. “And it’s tragic in my mind to think that that’s going on in the streets and especially when someone’s been offered services day in and day out and they’ve decided to turn us down.”

Kayhan said the Mayor’s office is working with the courts on a new system that would identify the city’s 40 worst offenders and focus efforts to devote homeless outreach and increased punishment, when necessary.

Kayhan hopes the courts will approve the system and put it in place by the end of the year.

(© CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Comments (22)
  1. Daigoro says:

    yeah sure, let’s wait until she picks up a knife, or an ice pick, or a brick…

  2. MugWump says:

    Well it’s good news the Mayor’s office is working on this New System, while Newsom runs for Lt. Governor, and it’s probably going to take a while to get this New System up and running to identify the 40 worst offendors. Meanwhile these tax parasites, paid for by taxpayers because they get all kinds of Disability Checks, General Assistance, Food Stamps, free housing, run amok.

  3. ive says:

    So can anyone commit assault and battery over and over in the city and expect only a ticket which will be dismissed later? Send her to the shelter at 850 Bryant. Case closed.

    1. Joe says:

      I was attacked by this woman on the N Judah, she was arrested I identified her , she was jailed. I was contacted by the DA for a trial but nothing ever came of it. Muni supposedly has a video of my attack. She may kill someone.

    2. francisco says:

      I totally agree!

    3. s says:

      my thoughts exactly. if it were anyone else, they’d be in jail facing charges but because it’s a homeless person, she gets a free pass?? that doesn’t make any sense at all. i get that she has a mental illness but it’s not an excuse to let her out of jail. send her to a mental ward so she can get help and stay locked up at the same time.

  4. jd says:

    Lock her up before she kills someone. Better yet, send her home to family. The government is not designed to be caretakers of problem people. If the family doesn’t want her, lock her up for assault and battery.

  5. a says:

    i fail to see why it’s so hard to solve problems like that. just arrest her and throw her to laguna honda hospital for an indefinite period of time until she turns back to normal.

  6. chris cook says:

    Unfortunately, if you’re crazy and hurt others in SF, The City is so afraid of looking intolerant that it allows these types of crimes to continue. Yep, I said crimes. Let’s not drown ourselves in political correctness, hmm? (And I’m a far-left liberal saying this…)

  7. cynthia skovlin says:

    While lynching her may seem to some to be a good solution, unfortunately mental illness does not get better from punishment, anymore than slapping someone with the flu is a good remedy. The city will throw away a whole bunch of tax payers dollars unless it employs a strategy that is based in treatment.

    1. Pati Kirkpatrick says:

      This is a very good response and I appreciate the truth in your statement.

  8. JaneQPublic says:

    If ANYONE attacks me, I will defend myself by any and all means necessary to ensure my safety. I am NOT going to ask first if the attacker is mentally ill or not.

  9. Tommiej says:

    This poor woman is a danger to herself and others. If anything it shows a failing of our mental health system. If you’ve ever visited other countries, you’ll note in many of them you don’t see dangerously mentally ill people randomly wandering the streets. This is shameful, she needs care, possibly even medication. But I doubt anything will be done until someone is seriously hurt.

  10. scott says:

    I used to live in san francisco and this is one of the main reasons which ruins SF. We need to Julianni them out of the city. They harass everyone and get away with actual murder. Newshome needs to get his head out of his ass and do something other than waste tax payer money on those worthless buildings he bought for them which they use as crackhouses. I just don’t understand why SF allows stuff like this to constantly happen. It ruins SF for me and tourists. Do something government! Instead of being super lib and finally respect taxpayers not violent drug addicted annoying littering homeless losers.

    1. Michael says:

      This sort of thing caused you to leave San Francisco?

      I guess every cloud has a silver lining. Be sure not to come back!

      1. Diane says:

        To ‘mike’ – you are one reason many people don’t enjoy SF anymore. You’re selfish, lack the ability to feel empathy & are still 14. Too bad you won’t care about this issue until you or someone you care for ( unlikely any such person exists) gets hurt. Dangerous people, mentally ill or not, don’t discriminate.

  11. tn says:

    Until a Board member’s relative, or a council member’s sibling, or a police official’s spouse (oxymoron), or a supervisor’s child is harmed either by this individual or another mentally unstable individual (or gang thug), not much action will be taken, other than these “meetings” to devise the plan for the 40 worst offenders (now, there’s a meeting I would love to attend so I can hear what the nomination and arguments are). SF’s liberal compassion may have tilted a little to far to the other side. Unfortunately, someone of political importance has to suffer a major or tragic experience before the city “finds the funding” to put a stop to these kinds of incidents.

  12. Jen says:

    What do we tell all the hundreds of kids who ride muni (mostly back and forth to school) in the inner sunset every single day? “Here’s a description of a lady who might want to hurt you. If you see her, RUN!!!

    Are you kidding me??? I’m sure the powers that be could figure out a way to keep a mentally ill woman from harming herself and others if they really wanted to.

  13. Taylen Peterson says:

    “CBS 5 caught up with the woman just as she was boarding a bus, but she declined to comment so we left her alone.”
    good idea…or you might catch a 2×4 to the face…

  14. Bill says:

    My family and I live in the Inner Sunset. My teenage daughter and her friend were attacked by this woman on Lincoln Blvd. They had packed a picnic lunch and were on the way to the Park. They ran in opposite directions, and were able to outrun her. She came at them with a pair of scissors. The police responded immediately, were able to find her, and arrested her. She apparently was held at SF General on a 72-hour hold (for persons who are an immediate danger to themselves or others). Three days later, she was back. The Police Department’s hands are tied, as the District Attorney will not prosecute. Therein lies the problem.

  15. Vikki says:

    Last month while walking to go Christmas shopping…This lady approached me and she looked like she needed help. I stopped for a moment as this women grabbed on to my arm, and started talking nonsense. I realized she’s not in her right mind…so as i walked away, this lady placed her hand on my shoulder and spun me toward her and slapped me across my face. I was stunned and realized I need to get away quick. She slapped me again in the back of my head and shoved me a few times as I was walking swiftly looking for help. She eventually stopped following me. If I knew about this woman and these other incidents earlier, I would’ve avoided this area. I do feel empathy for her and I would rather see her get the help she needs instead of putting charges on her. Locking her up or responding back with violence is not going to solve this problem.

  16. Nathan says:

    The looks of intolerance and disgust do not help someone who already feels bad for what has happenned to her and for what she has done. I know her personally and she is a sweetheart, just misunderstood. Her name is Sheila and is now receiving help. Sheila spent 3 MONTHS in jail which was way too long!! She never ‘beat people up’ as suggested.