The unhoused man who’s long infuriated the Inner Richmond with his sprawling encampment and signs saying “Free fentanyl 4 new users,” and “Meth for stolen items!” was arrested late Friday morning, but it’s not clear whether this saga is finished.
It created quite a dustup in the local news cycle when reports emerged earlier this week that an unhoused man with an unreasonably large sidewalk encampment at Geary Boulevard and Ninth Avenue put up a “Free fentanyl 4 new users” sign. And he vowed to several media outlets that the deal was real, as it was for his "Meth for stolen items!” sign.
Yet even more infuriating to neighborhood residents was how this man, 46-year-old Joseph Adam Moore, has a sex offender registry charge on his record from 1997 ("Lewd or lascivious acts with a child under 14 years of age"). His long-standing encampment was across from a K-8 school and a church, and a block from an SF Public Library.
Well, Moore’s reign of possibly handing out free fentanyl is over, for now at least. The Chronicle reports that Moore was arrested Friday morning. That report does not note what charges Moore was arrested on, though notes “The arrest followed an undercover investigation launched by Capt. Chris Canning of the Richmond District police station.” Still, despite the use of undercover officers, there are no reports of any drug charges against Moore. Not so far, at least.
BREAKING: Adam Moore just arrested on probation violation. Homeless convicted sex offender offered “free fentanyl 4 new users” across from Stella Maris Academy. DPW taking his belongings away. My original report: https://t.co/4yOzoIKsaU pic.twitter.com/EbetYu6jtu— Dan Noyes (@dannoyes) October 20, 2023
But the SF Standard was clearly there for Moore’s arrest, and has pictures and video of the late morning operation. KGO’s Dan Noyes has pictures from the arrest too, so SFPD may have tipped some reporters off to the operation.
The Standard reports that SFPD’s plan was to cite Moore with a nuisance misdemeanor, and “release him at the scene.” Which sounds he would have walked free. But as DPW was clearing his belongings, Moore moved some of them back. At that point, SFPD arrested him for “violating a stay-away order” of his probation, in the Standard’s words.
Either way, Moore’s encampment is cleared, to the relief of the Inner Richmond.
“This morning the area was cleaned and power washed, and, as of now, is cleared of any obstruction,” the district’s supervisor Connie Chan said in a statement to the Chronicle. “A person who threatens the safety of our community has no place on our streets.”
But it’s unclear whether Moore is in custody. He was apparently taken into custody, as Dan Noyes and the SF Standard have him pictured in cuffs, and it looks like he’s being placed in a police cruiser. Though as of press time for this post, SF County Jail records do not show Moore as being in custody. The Chronicle's report notes that "As of 1 p.m. Moore was being booked with charges pending."
Image: @RefuseRefuseSF via Twitter