SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS / KPIX 5) — A 25-year-old man is facing assault charges for an unprovoked attack on another patron at San Francisco’s main library branch on Wednesday.

Authorities said the suspect, identified as Clifton Moore, allegedly struck another man over the head with a chair. He was quickly detained by security and then arrested.

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Despite the unusual attack, officials maintained the library is still a safe place and that it attracts all kinds of people.

The main branch, located at 100 Larkin Street, is just across from Civic Center Plaza, City Hall and isn’t too far from the Tenderloin District.

“This is, you know, a very urban neighborhood, certainly. But the library is a very democratic institution,” said library spokeswoman Michelle Jeffers. “Possibly the greatest democratic institution and we are open to everyone.”

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According to Jeffers, there were 3,400 incidents at the library last fiscal year. While the number sounds high, Jeffers said an incident could range from being anything from someone sleeping in a chair to an assault, which according to her is very rare. The year before, there were more than 4,500 such incidents.

The homeless and the mentally ill congregate at the main library, which can be intimidating to some. But a patron visiting from Chicago told KCBS that it feels safer at the San Francisco library than the one where he is from.

A San Francisco police sergeant will aid 16 security officers at the main branch starting on Monday. Officials said the assignment was made before Wednesday’s attack.

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