On the afternoon of May 24 a surveillance camera captured footage of a well-dressed man kicking a person lying on the ground on Leavenworth Street. The victim suffered such serious injuries that he was taken to the hospital, and police announced they were on the hunt for a suspect.
Tenderloin Station is seeking your help to identify this aggravated assault suspect. Anyone who knows who this man is should call (415)575-4444 and reference SFPD case 180387174. Warning: Graphic Video pic.twitter.com/R30PSEXvCk
— SFPD Tenderloin (@SFPDTenderloin) June 7, 2018
The video quickly went viral, but it wasn’t an isolated incident; police connected the suspect to a second assault that took place five days later on Muni. A man who looked similar attacked a 28-year-old man riding the bus on Eighth Street in SoMa. According to police, who reviewed Muni footage, the suspect approached the victim, yelled at him, grabbed him by his hair, and smashed his face into a steel handrail, breaking his nose.
The hunt for the assailant intensified, and on Sunday, a Tenderloin police officer spotted someone walking down Market Street who matched the description. He arrested 58-year-old Samuel Youmtoub of San Francisco and charged him with aggravated assault.
“Both incidents appear to be unprovoked attacks and there is no indication the suspect knew either victim or had any prior interaction them,” says Sgt. Michael Andraychak, an SFPD spokesperson. “San Francisco Police investigators working these two cases determined the suspect in both of these attacks was the same person.”
According to a 2011 article on SFGate, Youmtoub was also arrested and charged with assault in 2011, after stealing wine from a Madrigal Winery near St. Helena.
The Leavenworth Street incident came at a time when the rights of people experiencing homelessness are under review; Jogger Henry Sintay was filmed throwing piles of someone’s belongings into a Lake Merritt in Oakland on June 8. The next day he was arrested after he returned to the scene to fish out the items and stole a phone from someone filming the incident.
And our sister publication the Examiner released damning information last week incriminating Brick and Mortar nightclub owner Jason Perkins, who posted signs around San Francisco threatening people without homes. “IF YOU ARE STILL HERE AFTER DARK TONIGHT, the hunters will become the hunted. We will pound you, burn you, beat you, and fuck you up if you are within a 100 yards of this park starting after sundown tonight,” they stated.
Altogether, the incidents are a painful reminder that people without homes experience all types of discrimination and threats of violence – and that only some incidents are captured on video.