A confusing confrontation in Dolores Park left a Mission High School student injured and members of the community concerned about violence in the area.
A report from the San Francisco Police Department reads that at 5:45 p.m. Friday, a 16-year-old female suffered a "laceration to hand" inflicted by an "unknown" suspect with a knife on the 3700 block of 18th Street. But according to Mission High School principal Eric Guthertz, the injury followed a strange and frightening confrontation between students and a group of homeless men at the park.
"Lots of people saw this happen," writes an SFist tipster who forwarded an email Guthertz sent to parents this morning. Here's the letter, in full:
From: Eric Guthertz (Mission HS) Date: 11/21/16 9:17 AM Subject: Letter Regarding and Incident Friday Night Across the Street
Dear Mission Community,
I hope that everyone is doing well and ready for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday.
I wanted to let you all know about an incident that happened across the street from the school this past Friday evening. At around 5:00 pm, as students were leaving the school from various team practices and other after school activities, a couple of our students, heading to the bus stop on the corner of 18th St. and Dolores, were chased by an adult who we believe was hanging out on the corner of the park with a small group of homeless individuals. There does not appear to be a reason why the students were chased. Unfortunately another group of adult men got involved and a fight broke out across the street below the tennis courts. As students and staff worked to break this up and bring students back across the street one of our students was cut across the hand. The student was bleeding and a teacher was able to wrap the hand up and get the student to safety back at school. The police and ambulance then arrived and several adults were detained.
I am very happy to report that the student will be fine. I visited the student in the hospital and they are eager to return to school and will do so very soon.
In addition we are working closely with SFPD to both investigate the incident and to work together to ensure the safety of our students at all times but especially in the evenings as they return home. Dolores Park, while beautiful, presents some challenges as you can all imagine and we have been working with the captain of the Mission Station to support our students’ safety in this regard. As it is almost winter and it gets dark early we do ask that if your child is staying after school for sports, clubs, and other events, that you make sure your student has a plan for getting home (either by public transportation or being picked up) and that when the activity is over they do in fact go straight home.
Your child’s safety is always our most important goal. To this end we will continue working with all of the resources and support available through our district and community to make sure we are collectively doing our very best for each of your children. Do not hesitate to reach out to me with any questions or concerns. I am always here for you.
Have a wonderful, restful holiday.
Principal, Mission HS
As of publication time, SFPD's media relations department could not confirm if any arrests had been made in the case. They do, however, confirm that the female student's injuries are non-life-threatening, and say she's expected to recover from the attack.