SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) — A San Francisco woman says she is ready to move out of her home of six years after a violent attack early Sunday morning by what she describes as a mentally disturbed man.
Paneez Kosarian told KPIX 5 it began with a “semi-calm” conversation outside the Watermark near Beale and Bryant Streets just off the Embarcadero at around 1:40 a.m.. Then things took a terrifying turn when the man claimed the building security guard was a robot.
“He asked me to open the door so he could get into the building and kill her, so that he could earn my trust,” said Kosarian.
She said the assailant then demanded her keys, wallet and phone. Security camera video shows Kosarian being thrown to the ground as she fought back to get inside to safety.
“He was holding down my legs, pulling my legs, not letting me go inside for about a good five minutes,” remembered Kosarian. She eventually managed to escape, suffering from bruises on her fingers and injured wrist.
Building security had called 911 before the attack, but SFPD officers got moved to another call.
“The officers who were responding to that call were diverted to a domestic violence call nearby. Once the subject’s behavior escalated further and it became assaultive, it became an A priority call and the officers were able to respond and take that subject into custody,” Sgt. Michael Andraychak told KPIX 5.
The suspect was arrested a block away from the Watermark at Beale Street and the Embarcadero shortly after 2 a.m. He was identified by SFPD as 25-year-old Austin James Vincent, a man with no ties to San Francisco. Vincent is facing charges of false imprisonment, battery and attempted robbery.
The Watermark sits next door to the proposed Embarcadero Homeless Navigation Center. Kosarian says serious discussions need to happen before the navigation center goes into operation.
“Don’t twist it as this is a homeless issue and we’re going to build more shelters. Give them more treatment. These people are mentally ill. These people are struggling with drug addiction,” said Kosarian. “You can’t put these people into a residential area and say, ‘Don’t feel unsafe. You’re safe.’ You can’t do that. The city needs to properly address this. The city needs to come up with a plan and show us, prove to us that we are safe.”
The San Francisco Board of Supervisors green-lighted the new 200-bed navigation center on the Embarcadero on in late June over the protests of neighborhood groups.
Department of Homelessness director Jeff Kositsky told KPIX 5 he expected the navigation center to be built by the end of the year unless a judge decides to put the project on hold.