Two recent assault victims in the Mission District say they can point out or even name their attackers, yet both attackers continue to roam the neighborhood without consequences.
A new story in Mission Local today highlights a pair of brutal Mission District attacks, which are unrelated. But they have a common thread that both victims can identify their attackers, yet the attackers continue to roam free. One of the attacks is from last week, another from January, and involving an attacker who has a history of allegedly using machetes and hammers against his victims.
The January attack was against a Joseph Miller, who spoke to Mission Local, and says he has since moved out of the Mission. But he can not only describe, but also literally name his attacker, allegedly Rafael Navarro, a known character around the 16th and Valencia Street parts. Navarro already has a restraining order against him for a separate alleged machete attack last summer. But the hammer attack against Miller has been sitting on SFPD’s desk, with the alleged attacker’s full name and known whereabouts, yet Miller says his repeated attempts to prompt SFPD to do something have been met with nothing but resistance.
“I’ve basically become a nuisance to them, is what I’ve gathered,” Miller told Mission Local. “He told me to stop doing my own investigating cause it could hurt the case — and I said, ‘Well, what the fuck are you guys doing about it?’”
We also have the case of the September 20 assault at Valencia and 18th streets that left a man with his ear half-severed off. That victim, Ramon Reyna, does not know the name of his attacker. But there’s some pretty explicit security video of the attack, and the attacker’s appearance is known.
Reyna’s GoFundMe describes the attacker as a Caucasian man with blond hair. Mission Local’s interview with Reyna yields the further information that he is “A man of about 6 feet 2 inches who looked to be in his 30s, wearing a backpack and a colorful blanket draped over his shoulders.”
“He is seen clearly in the video footage Mission Local reviewed and that Reyna’s family tracked down from nearby security cameras,” Mission Local writes. “What additional information is needed for police to track down these individuals is unclear.”
This comes against the backdrop of ongoing reports about a repeat stalker at-large who’s terrorizing SF women for years. DA Brooke Jenkins’s office did score some meager points for referring victims to victims' services, but we still see a pattern where alleged offenders that former DA Chesa Boudin was criticized for not prosecuting hard enough are, well, still not being prosecuted.
It could be that there is some delicate variable that could jeopardize an investigation, or some other unknown investigative best practice preventing action in these cases. But it seems the “police did nothing” narrative continues to apply no matter who the DA is.
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