Three months into owning a sandwich shop in the Upper Haight, business owner Peterson Harter says he was sucker-punched in the face Wednesday afternoon when he confronted a suspect who was urinating outside his store.
Harter, a former chef at The Progress, opened Sandy's Muffulettas at 1457 Haight Street back in April, giving a brick-and-mortar home to the muffuletta sandwich business he launched two years back. Talking about the neighborhood at the time, Harter told Eater, "It’s like New Orleans, it just has that energy to it... It has that funkiness that I really like, and I can’t imagine this being in any other neighborhood now."
Well, three months later, perhaps there have been other frustrations as a business owner. And on Wednesday things seem to have come to a head with a violent altercation outside the sandwich shop. Harter says he went out to tell a guy to stop urinating on the sidewalk outside his shop, and then was punched.
"At what point is it too much that you can't be out in the street, telling a guy to stop pissing, and not get punched in the face?" Harter asks in an emotional Instagram video in which wounds are visible near one eye.
"I'm frustrated. I'm really frustrated. I hope that something will come of this. At least I hope they find the guy and I'm really mad right now," Harter says.
Harter subsequently posted a photo of the suspect, which you can see below. He appears to be carrying a tallboy of Tecate, hence the need to pee.
Harter's frustrations are, of course, shared by many businesses dealing with petty crime, vandalism, shoplifting, and worse antisocial behavior in many corners of the city — though it remains debatable whether the situation is worse than in the last decade, or whether incidents like this one just get more attention when they are part of the dominant narrative.
But anyway, go patronize Sandy's! The muffulettas are excellent.
The SF Standard found a corresponding SFPD report of a battery near Haight and Ashbury around 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, shortly before Harter posted his video, so it appears the police did respond.
Anyone with information on the suspect can call the SFPD tip line at 415-575-4444.