San Francisco shop owner punched in face after telling man to stop urinating on street

A small business owner in San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury neighborhood said he was punched in the face, after telling someone to stop urinating in front of his shop.

Peterson Harter said he was initially angry, but now optimistic and called for change and accountability in the city.

He also said that he's frustrated, but not entirely shocked by what happened. And he's speaking out because he said this type of behavior can not be tolerated.

Sandy's, a shop serving up New Orleans-inspired sandwich muffulettas, opened up just in April on iconic Haight street.

On Wednesday about 5 p.m., Harter said he heard a commotion outside involving his employee and he saw a man urinating in front of his shop. 

"I'm not willing to just let someone start urinating in the middle of the street, walking belligerent with a beer in his hand," Hunter said. "That's just not the right behavior for this city." 

After he yelled at the man, Harter said that's when he got punched. 

"Didn't see it coming," he said. 

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That punch left him with a bruised eye and a cut on his forehead.

Sophia Crosetti, the employee who first encountered the man, said they've never seen him in the area before.

"It's scary that someone all of a sudden resorts to violence like that," she said. "And it's not representative of this community."

Harter said that he's speaking out in hopes that this type of behavior is not accepted as normal. 

"If it takes getting punched in the face and have this conversation and talk about it and bring it to light then it was worth it," said Harter. "I'm still frustrated but I am optimistic. That's just who I am." 

Harter said he took a photo of his attacker as he was walking away. 

The shop owner described the suspect as 5'10" to 6-feet tall, 170 pounds, dark hair with neck tattoos. He wore jeans with purple paint splatter. 

He said the man appeared to be intoxicated.

"I don't want him to go to jail.  I want him to go do 100 hours of community service, cleaning up the streets in Haight Street," said Harter.

There was a steady stream of customers coming into the shop to show their support Thursday.

"I  don't want someone like him to close down his shop or feel like he can't run a business here," said customer Mark Mastrangelo.

Harter said people need to be held accountable for their behavior. He's not sure what needs to be done to improve the situation in the city. 

"I'm hopeful things will turn around.  I think this could be one of the greatest cities in the world. 

I think it has the ability to get there right now. It's not," Harter.

Both the owner and the employee said they also live in this neighborhood. They said they're grateful for the outpouring of community support. Both said they have no plans to go elsewhere.

Harter said police responded quickly. But so far, police said no arrests have been made.

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


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