SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) — The woman who was attacked in a now infamous video as she tried to enter her San Francisco condo on Wednesday blamed the city’s mayor for the attack.
Paneez Kosarian was attacked last month by 25-year-old assault suspect Austin Vincent as she tried to enter the lobby of her condo building known as the Watermark. Her story and surveillance video of the attack went viral, sparking a growing controversy on how the city is dealing with its pervasive homelessness problem.
On Wednesday, she posted a series of tweets going after Mayor London Breed.
In one tweet she said in part, “Breed is responsible for my attack and many other’s and needs to be held accountable.”
In other words, Breed is responsible for my attack and many other’s and need to be held accountable. We never know how good our leaders are until we are in a time of crisis, especially this big and dangerous. @LondonBreed She is unable to keep us safe
— Paneez Kosarian (@paneezkosarian) September 4, 2019
Coincidentally, Mayor Breed on Wednesday was rolling out a set of reforms for the city’s mental health strategy, a plan that begin by targeting those most in need on city streets.
The mayor admitted she knows people are frustrated and things need to improve. In fact, she started by describing the situation as worse than she has ever seen it.
“What I see is something that I’ve never seen in my lifetime of growing up in the city,” Breed said in the city’s South of Market neighborhood. “People who are in serious, serious crisis, serious need. It is not humane to continue to allow this to occur on our streets.”
At Market and 2nd Streets, there was no shortage of people that clearly need some kind of help.
“Yeah, and most people walk by them and they act like they don’t exist at all,” said San Francisco resident Jeremy LaCroix. Not far away, the mayor was at one of the city’s mental health clinics, laying out her plans to reach those who need help the most based on a new study of the city’s homeless population.
“We have been able to identify 4,000 people with the characteristics of the population who are really in need through these various diagnoses,” Breed explained.
Of those 4,000, 230 have already been targeted as priority cases. The city also says beds will me available for those patients.
“We have permanent supportive housing and we have residential treatment flights available for these individuals as needed,” said Dr. Nigusse Bland, the mayor’s Director of Mental Health Reform.
“I would think it’s as good an idea as any to try to get the top 200,” LaCroix said upon hearing of the mayor’s plan. “If you can get some treatment or see a pattern of improvement with those 200, then scale it to the rest. And then you try to help more people.”
The mayor has also pushed for stronger conservatorship laws for those suffering from several mental illness or drug addiction. She says the outreach to the population of 4,000 will take time.
“We’re not going to be able to force everyone into treatment,” Mayor Breed said. “We know that locally, the laws make it very difficult to do something of that nature. But we have to try.”
For residents who are frustrated, there may have been some good news buried in Wednesday’s announcement. The city has spent several years trying to keep better tabs on who is cycling through jail, the hospital and all of the city’s service providers. The strategy numbers — 4,000 and 230 — are born partly from that effort.
If nothing else, the city appears to be keeping better track of things. The mayor said more reforms will be announced in the coming weeks.