Thursday, August 28, 2008

SFGA History: Youths Terrorize Bus Driver, Riders;

San Francisco Chronicle : Feb 18, 1988. pg. A.2

Copyright Chronicle Publishing Company Feb 18, 1988

San Francisco police yesterday were investigating an incident in which a Muni bus driver and his passengers were terrorized by five young men in the Hunters Point area.

Driver Steve Brown told police that he was beaten and robbed of $250 by three men "in their 20s" shortly after 11 p.m. Tuesday when he pulled his 54-Felton line bus to a stop at Kiska Road and Ingalls Street.

Two teenagers waiting at the intersection smashed the front windshield of the bus with rocks, police said, and two passengers who tried to come to the driver's aid also were beaten.

Brown said that the three young men had been sitting behind him on the bus when they suddenly jumped him. After the skirmish, they fled.
No one was seriously injured. The driver and passengers were given emergency medical treatment at the scene.

Mayor Art Agnos was besieged yesterday with questions about Muni violence at a news conference held to discuss AIDS.

"We're doing everything we can, as the police chief informs me, to deal with this problem," he said. "We cannot allow the lawlessness to continue. . . . It has now hit a very critical point and it could get worse."

Agnos blamed youth gangs and drug abuse for fueling the recent spate of Muni bus-bashing and street violence in the southeast end of the city.

"There's no easy fix," he said. "(But) we've got a very serious fundamental problem with the sale of cocaine and drugs in certain parts of our city that has to be dealt with."

The violence is not limited to buses. City officials are concerned about increased attacks against police.

"These kids fill themselves with crack and get real bold," said a police officer on patrol. "They're ready to take on anybody."

About 24 members of the Guardian Angels were on patrol again last night to try to prevent assaults on Muni buses. On Tuesday night, vandals threw rocks and lead pipes at a 15-Third Street bus the Angels were riding.

Chronicle staff writers Robert Popp and Dawn Garcia contributed to this report.


Muni has logged more than 100 major disturbances on city buses in the past two months. Among the worst:

-- Dec. 5: Rocks and bottles break windows on 15-Third Street line in North Beach and Bayview district.

-- Dec. 14, 9:53 p.m.: Third report of windows on 15-Third Street bus shattered. Service re-routed.

-- Feb. 7, 6:30 p.m.: Gang of juveniles attacks a 15-Third Street bus with stones and eggs, breaking 19 windows and sending terrified passengers diving to the floor.

-- Feb. 9, 7 p.m.: About 15 youths board a 15-Third Street bus, hold a gun to the driver's head while others yell, "Shoot the driver!" The youths then shoot out a rear window.

-- Feb. 14, 8:30 p.m.: Rocks thrown by unknown assailants shatter one window and crack another on the 54-Felton line.

-- Feb. 16, 11 p.m.: A bus driver is robbed of $250 and two passengers are beaten by three youths on the 54-Felton line. Two others outside the bus smash windows with bricks.


No comments: