Man attacked near Oakland homeless encampment

Twenty-one year-old Max Zimmer showed us some bruises on his back, and the smashed windows of his pick-up truck, the visible damages of what he says was an attack near a homeless encampment in Oakland.  

"There was definitely a moment where I was scared for my life," Zimmer said.

He said he was driving home to Alameda from his construction job Tuesday afternoon when he got off at the High Street exit in Oakland.

But he took too tight a turn on Alameda Avenue not far from the Home Depot, and skidded onto a curb.

Zimmer said when he got out to check on his truck he was confronted by people who had come over from the homeless encampment across the street.

He said one of the men told him he had run over one of their agave plants they were selling and wanted $300. He said he gave them the few dollars he had on him.

Then he found himself surrounded by at least 10 people, some with sticks and two-by-fours.

"I started getting beat. I was in the fetal position for 30-45 seconds," Zimmer said. He ran back to his truck. "They started busting out the window two by fours.
He said he called 9-1-1 and his mother who came immediately.

"By the time I got there, he was being chased by a man with an aluminum baseball bat. There was another man slinging a mattress pump with a chord," said his mother, Tonya Zimmer.

Zimmer said she saw police arrest at least one man. 

Oakland police said the report is still being processed.

At the scene, KTVU reporter Rob Roth saw tire tracks, broken glass from the truck windows, and a piece of splintered wood.

The city did clean up the encampments near the Home Depot last year, but some camps remain.

"I feel Oakland is letting that behavior run wild," Zimmer said.