SF investigates after out-of-town cop drops off homeless man in city

San Francisco's City Attorney David Chiu said he's now investigating the San Rafael Police Department for dropping off a homeless man in the city without providing him help. 

San Rafael police have apologized for the incident, but it may not prevent legal action.

San Francisco city officials on Tuesday shared with KTVU video taken by a resident who wishes to remain anonymous.

It shows a marked San Rafael police vehicle parked along 14th Avenue near Lake Street in San Francisco's Richmond District.

A police officer let out a homeless man on July 30 around 5:30 p.m.   

"It's actually really sad. The last thing anyone who isn't housed, is not to be left alone on the street," said Vanessa Dempsey who lives in the neighborhood.  

After the officer left, San Francisco firefighters and police responded to reports of the man setting tree branches on fire and throwing rocks. 

A fire department spokesman said the man was transported to a hospital for medical attention.

"It was disturbing that another jurisdiction would dump a person who was experiencing homelessness or mental health challenges in the middle of a residential neighborhood without any services," Chiu said.  

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"This was a mistake. We should not have transported this individual to San Francisco," said San Rafael Police Lt. Scott Eberle. "Dropping him off in that neighborhood was completely unacceptable and for that we're sorry."

Eberle said the officer came in contact with the man at the Northgate Shopping Center where he allegedly threatened a security guard.

But the officer determined that the man did not have a weapon and was not a threat.

"The officer had a conversation with this gentleman and asked if he would like to go to San Francisco," Eberle said.

It's unclear why the officer made the offer and that the officer contacted his supervisor who granted permission.   

Chiu said he's looking at all options including a lawsuit  

"We are certainly going to look into this. We need to have accountability by our neighboring cities and counties," said Chiu.  

Neighbor Jeff Marrs said San Rafael should pay restitution for the mistake, "It's not cheap. I think that you should send them the bill."  

"We need to do better everywhere San Rafael, San Francisco helping these people. They need help," said Dempsey.  

San Rafael police said they have directed its officers not to transport homeless people to other jurisdictions. 

As for the homeless man, his current whereabouts are unknown. 

Amber Lee is a reporter with KTVU. Email Amber at Amber.Lee@Fox.com or text/leave message at 510-599-3922. Follow her on Facebook @AmberKTVU,  Instagram @AmberKTVU  or Twitter @AmberKTVU