Woman attacked outside San Francisco home, suspect arrested

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San Francisco police have arrested a man in the assault of a woman trying to go home early Sunday morning. The victim said the man demanded her money, keys and phone. She fought back and kicked him. 

The attack happened at 2:03 a.m. at the Watermark Building at 501 Beale St, near Bryant Street. 

A woman named Paneez [she did not want to give her last name] posted video of the attack on social media.  

The video shows the woman struggling to get inside through the building's front door, but being taken down to the ground by a man dressed in black clothing.  

A security guard working at the building's main lobby helped the woman by holding the door shut and eventually locking it. 

The victim described her ordeal. 

"This guy was obviously mentally unstable; definitely on drugs. The amount of strength he has was not normal for a man that size,'' she said. 

"He kept saying, 'Come with me, I'm trying to save your life.' I was fighting for my life, at my own house, trying to get inside one door. This is mental illness, this is drug issues and this is security and the city is responsible. They're putting all our lives at risk," Paneez said. 

Police have named the suspect, Austin James Vincent, a 25-year-old man with no local address. He was booked at the San Francisco County Jail on charges of false imprisonment, battery, and attempted robbery, police said.

The group Safe Embarcadero For All have enlisted the services of noted Bay Area public relations representative Sam Singer, and are highlighting the proximity of this incident to a proposed SAFE Navigation Center for the homeless. 

Safe Embarcadero is against the shelter's location and is suing the city of San Francisco to stop the proposed center on the Embarcadero. 

The group issued a statement on Tuesday that read, "This is an issue of the safety of our residents, our neighborhood, our City. Yet, the elected leadership of San Francisco has turned a blind eye to our safety." 

The group has characterized the homeless navigation center as "ill-conceived" and have been vocal critics at public meetings about the center backed by Mayor London Breed. 

"We live in concern and with fear of what may come because of the inability of the City to listen to the concerns, and follow its own rules, in the creation of new homeless centers and facilities," Safe Embarcadero For All board member Wallace Lee wrote. 

Breed's office called the attack "terrible" and "disturbing," adding: "allowing people to continue to remain on the street without providing resources will only make the challenges we face more severe."

Breed is looking to open 1,000 new shelter beds for people experiencing homelessness across the city, said Deputy Communications Director Andy Lynch. 

KTVU's Tom Vacar contributed to this report.