'Belligerent' Santa Con revelers trash Pakistani restaurant in San Francisco

- A San Francisco restaurant was trashed and a cashier punched in the face, during the weekend's Santa Con gathering. 

It happened at Shalimar, a longtime Pakistani cafe on Polk Street, at about 7 p.m. on Saturday.

Loyal customers who saw employee cell phone video of the rampage shared those videos on social media. 

"They told me they had some trouble at Santa Con but I did not expect to see that," said customer Taylor Savvy, "and when I see the door here is just totally busted out, it just blew my mind." 

Two women are visible in the videos.

One picks up a chair and shatters the restaurant's front door, striking it several times, before striding away. 

The other is at the restaurant entrance, where she allegedly gave the cashier a black eye, and threw a sugar dispenser at him. 

"These girls got really aggressive trying to throw a sugar canister at his head," Savvy told KTVU, "and I just don't know what warrants something like that." 

A photo shows friends trying to hold the woman back but the dispenser went flying, along with everything else on the counter, shoved to the floor. 

"Oh, I got out of the way," said Shalimar cook Alejo Cano Chan, who showed KTVU the cash register on Monday night, still broken from the fall.  

Chan said the women appeared intoxicated and wanted to join friends who were eating, and were adamant they had ordered food when they had not. 

They became enraged and trashed the place, when they were asked to leave.   

"She says give me my food, we say you didn't order any food, show us the receipt," recounted Chan, "and if you have the receipt, we can give you the food, but no receipt."  

Santa Con started in San Francisco in 1994, and has since spread to many cities.
It is part costume party, part pub crawl, an annual tradition that often includes toy donations and Christmas caroling. 

But in lower Nob Hill, the sidewalks were jammed, and people spilling out of bars by midday. 

"I saw a lot of very intoxicated people," said Shalimar diner Abi Vickram, "so I can only imagine as the day went on, things got a little rowdy."

Smashed Santas result in arrests each year for public drunkenness.

Merchants complain about the trash, vomit and urine left behind.

This year's event was ad hoc, without a permit, promoted on social media. 

The neighborhood association, "Lower Polk Neighbors" issued a statement saying it is "extremely dismayed to learn about the assault that took place " by "belligerent Santa Con revelers."

The statement also asks people to share the images to help identify the perpetrators. 

"They were probably people from outside this neighborhood," said Shalimar diner Adam Thaler, "because what I saw Saturday night was very well controlled, and groups of SFPD officers on almost every other street corner." 

San Francisco police took a report, and acknowledged to KTVU that officers are aware of the videos, and the department is investigating. 

Overall, the department made seven arrests for public intoxication at Santa Con, and two for battery connected to a bar fight. There were 15 medical calls. 

"This is a really great staff, friendly restaurant, and they don't deserve this, " said Savvy, who eats at Shalimar a few times a week.

He lives in the neighborhood, but says he stays inside during Santa Con.

"I say power to you if you want to dress up and have fun," said Savvy, "but it changes everything if you're not respectful because we're a community and we're all affected." 
 

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