Posted: 6:15 p.m. Thursday, July 3, 2014

Police investigate attack during SF Pride captured in viral video

video of confrontation during SF Pride
video of confrontation during SF Pride

By Paul Chambers


San Francisco police on Thursday were trying to figure out what started an ugly melee during SF Pride celebrations caught on camera last weekend that showed a driver being threatened and assaulted by a crowd after exiting his vehicle and pulling a knife.

The video of the driver running around a downtown San Francisco intersection with a knife has gone viral.  By Thursday afternoon the video which was posted the day before had more than a half million views. 

The video on the website starts off with a man lying on the hood of a truck stopped at the intersection of Powell and Ellis streets during SF Pride weekend celebrations. 

Seconds later, the driver comes darting out from behind the door with something in his hand. He proceeds to chase several different individuals after they appear to accost and taunt him.

At one point in the clip, the crowd is seen throwing drinks and traffic cones at the driver has he starts to get back into his truck.

San Francisco police said so far they haven't received calls from concerned citizens about the video, which they described as disturbing. 

"A mob attacking this lone motorist in the vehicle trying to make a turn. But then you also see the motorist coming out with what appears to be a weapon of some sort," said Albie Esparza with San Francisco Police.

KTVU spoke with several workers in the area of Ellis and Powell Streets who witnessed Sunday's incident. Some said they were troubled and disturbed by the man's actions. Others said he was only trying to defend himself. The video shows he was kicked and hit several times during the incident.

"It's one thing to protect yourself and then chase after somebody with a weapon as we saw in this video. So both parties were certainly in the wrong," said Esparza

Since the video starts midway through the incident, police said it is hard to determine the chain of events that led up to the confrontation.  However, officers told KTVU what the man should have done was once he got into trouble was stay inside his vehicle until help arrived or leave the scene and call 911.

"Certainly, [it was] a dangerous situation," says Esparza. "You don't want to engage with people. Because you don't know what weapons the suspects might have as well."

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