A week after Dreamforce ended, we thought, without a hitch and without any report of an unpleasant street incident, we now get a report of one such incident in which an attendee was assaulted and knocked to the ground by an unhinged suspect.
After Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff's possibly empty threats about moving his Dreamforce conference out of SF, and after the city appeared to get through the three-day conference without any problems, a new story arrives.
Apparently, one multi-year attendee of and speaker at Dreamforce, Chicago-based endovascular surgeon Dr. Paramjit Chopra, had a bad run-in with a male suspect on Market Street the day before Dreamforce started, on September 11.
Chopra, who is Sikh and wears a turban, first told his story to ABC 7 Chicago after he returned home, and he says he has no idea why the guy attacked him. He says he was walking on Market near Montgomery Street around 9:30 p.m. when a man glowered at him.
"I remember those eyes," Chopra says, saying he's even been woken up at night since remembering the suspects vicious gaze.
Chopra says the man rushed him head-first "like a football player." "He just launched me up [off the ground]," Chopra explains, saying he then landed flat on his back on the ground, his head barely missing a lamppost. He also says he landed inches from a passing bus.
As the Chronicle reports, Chopra feared he was badly injured, and a number of onlookers rushed to his side, which scared the suspect off.
"I [was] terrified that I [had] broken my back," Chopra tells the Chronicle. "My life flashed before my eyes."
He says he suffered bruises and has had muscle spasms for more than a week, and he spent the conference on pain meds, but otherwise he was uninjured.
The police recorded the incident as a battery, however no arrest has been made.
Chopra tells ABC 7 Chicago that while he doesn't blame San Francisco for the incident, he says, "We're the richest country in the world, we should be able to get this stuff sorted out."
And in a comment to the Chronicle, Chopra says, "I love San Francisco. I deal with life and death, 100% this is not going to scare me." He adds that he will still come back to Dreamforce, assuming it is held here again.
This is, of course, exactly the type of incident that no one in City Hall wants to see occur when downtown is swarmed with dignitaries and journalists from across the Asia-Pacific region in November. And god forbid anything more violent or tragic were to occur, because in this case it sounds like the victim got very lucky.
Top image via Dr. Paramjit Chopra/Dreamforce