Saturday, September 20, 2008

Patrol in the Mission, 9/20/08

On patrol today we had four Guardian Angels and covered a lot of ground. The weather was nice, and local residents were very glad to see us out today, including a MUNI bus driver who requested our assistance.

We started the afternoon by clearing Hunter's Alley. The alley was filthy with human feces and trash, and we picked up several used and discarded needles such as the ones pictured below. (You can click on the pictures to view a larger version)

After Hunter's Alley, we cleared an area next to a school that had several needles and beer bottles littered around it, and then we stopped by Kid Power Park where everything was clean and families were enjoying the nice weather. After that, we posted up at the 16th St. BART station (pictured below ) for a few minutes before heading down Mission St.

Everything went well down Mission, so we headed up to Alioto Park at 20th and Mission and searched the park to make sure it was safe for families to use. After a short break in Alioto Park, we headed down Mission and disrupted the drug traffic of some local dealers on Mission St. The dealers lounge against the wall of a business and store their drugs in a bag wedged in between two mail boxes. Every time we approach them they grab their bag of drugs and take off down the street. We continued down Mission to 24th St. and started to walk around the 24th St. BART station when a MUNI bus driver came out of his bus requesting our help.

There was an intoxicated man passed out on the bus who the driver could not wake up, but the driver had to get the man off the bus in order to continue his work day, so he asked us to get the man off the bus. Intoxicated bus riders or people under the influence of other drugs often attack the bus drivers, so we were happy to help the driver with the situation. We tried several times to wake the man, but he was out cold. He had both his hands in his lap though, so one Guardian Angel grabbed his left wrist and another grabbed his right wrist, and we pulled him out of his seat and stood him up while restraining him to prevent him from attacking us. He snapped out of his stupor as soon as we had him on his feet, but he resisted leaving the bus. We informed him his option was to leave the bus or go to jail, and after that he decided to comply and we escorted him off the bus.

After that, we posted up at 24 St. BART for awhile to observe the station before heading down Mission St. to clear Travis Alley. Travis Alley was relatively clean, and after that we headed down 24th St. towards Portero Ave. where there have been a lot of shootings lately. Everything went smoothly though and we looped back to check in on 24th St. Mini Park where some local residents took a picture of us.

The park was clear, so we headed back up Mission and checked Alioto Park once more to make sure no one was doing drugs there, and then we continued back up Mission St. to visit Hunter's Alley once again and another parallel alley. In the few hours since we had first cleared Hunter's Alley, some drug users had clearly been back as we found several more used needles and two dope cookers (pictured below).

After Hunter's Alley, we checked another alley nearby and came across another dope cooker and a crack pipe (pictured below). We put the dope cookers into a zip-lock bag and throw them away, but we dispose of the needles and crack pipes at the San Francisco Needle exchange. While on patrol, we carry the needles and crack pipes in portable containers provided by the needle exchange. All told, at the end of the day we had collected 16 needles, 1 crack pipe, and 3 dope cookers.

We received lots of positive feedback from people on the street and several motorists, including one who is going to make a donation and two individuals who were interested in becoming Guardian Angels themselves. If you would like to become a San Francisco Guardian Angel, send us an email at

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