SFPD’s statement and tips regarding “possible sexual assault”

In regards to our previous reporting on claims of a violent sexual assault on 19th and Capp Streets last weekend, the San Francisco Police Department have released a statement addressing possible similarities to another reported incident, as well as follow through. Here is the full statement:

Community Crime Prevention Advisory.

SFPD has identified the victim of a possible sexual assault which was first reported in a local news journal. The assault, which allegedly occurred in the early morning of hours of Monday, June 18, 2012, near 19th Street and Capp Street, was never reported to the Police Department. An investigation into the incident was initiated after Inspectors from the Special Victims Unit interviewed the author of the “Mission Local” article.

Investigators looking into the June 18th incident have discovered some similarities between the previously unreported incident, and a separate attempted sexual assault case, which was reported to police on June 15th and occurred just five blocks away. On June 15, 2012 on Erie Alley near 13th Street, a woman was approached from behind by two men who grabbed her from behind and attempted to sexually assault her.

In both incidents, the women were assaulted by two men, one short, possibly 5’-04” and the other taller, about 5’-10”. The men were described as being a Hispanic and an African American, or two Hispanic males.

Additional investigative personnel have been assigned to determine if there is any actual connection between these two incidents and Mission Police Station has increased patrols in the area.

The San Francisco Police Department is requesting that anyone having information on either of these incidents contact the SFPD by calling: the Anonymous Tip Line at (415) 575-4444 or Text a Tip via your mobile phone to TIP411 and type SFPD followed by your message. To report a life threatening emergency or crime in progress, call 911.

Also, via Uptown Almanac, here is a tip sheet that officers have handed out.

In addition, Maria tells us that San Francisco Women Against Rape is running a drop in & billingual Spanish/English free Self Defense Workshop at The Women’s Building this Thursday from 5-8 PM. If you have questions, SFWAR can be reached at (415) 861-2024.

We appreciate the commenters who have participated in the discussion by sharing personal stories, offering advice, gathering information and seeking to help the victim and survivors in general find healing, as well as to prevent future attacks.

No matter what the details are surrounding this particular incident, the fact remains that these kinds of crimes do happen. Without resorting to a response that could do more harm, such as racial profiling or excessive fear and paranoia, we hope that people will continue to look out for themselves and each other. As we see in the discussions that have arisen, an attack like the one detailed in our previous post can have an affect on all of us. It should not be minimized. It should not be acceptable. We hope for closure and healing for any victim, and hope to move forward together as a stronger community.

Additional reporting at The SF Appeal, Mission Local and SFist.

16 Responses to “SFPD’s statement and tips regarding “possible sexual assault””

  1. Julio says:

    Thanks for following up on this.

  2. Utopior says:

    So…this is NOT a hoax? What’s the scoop in that regard?

  3. Rexy says:

    Yes, such crimes do happen. But hoaxing is also a serious crime. I would like to know if it was a hoax or not.

    • D. Jon Moutarde says:

      Actually, hoaxing is NOT a serious crime unless you file a false police report or cause an official investigation to be opened on your behalf.

      • Rexy says:

        For *me*, hoaxing in such cases is a serious crime. Have you heard that old adage about the boy who cried wolf?

        I would like to think that whenever such a heinous crime (like rape) occurs, our first thoughts should *NOT* be whether it’s a hoax or not.

        • D. Jon Moutarde says:

          Sorry, but the law disagrees with you.

          My personal opinion is that anything that is reported first on Facebook should be regarded as a potential hoax.

  4. GG says:

    Thanks for following up, although its frustrating to hear the victim didn’t make a police report. No matter what one’s issues are with police, not reporting stuff like this to SFPD does a disservice to the rest of the women in this city who might be the perpetrators’ next victim.

  5. Ariel Dovas says:

    The SFPD does not seem to think that this is a hoax. As far as I can tell, they have the best information on the situation.

    • D. Jon Moutarde says:

      I’m taking anything the SFPD says about this with a grain of salt, since it was pressured into talking about it at all by Mission blog followers who were tying up their phone line with calls about a crime that had not been reported. Or so I surmise, based on the hundreds of comments on various Mission blogs.

      • Ariel Dovas says:

        I think one thing to keep in mind is that if a news organization or blog has information they are usually compelled to share it, and that is not the case with the SFPD. Which means that the SFPD tends to know what the news organizations and blogs know, as well as whatever they have gathered from other sources.

        • D. Jon Moutarde says:

          Perhaps you can guess, from my attitude, what I believe that SFPD has gathered from other sources…

  6. sx says:

    So it’s either two hispanic men or one hispanic man and one black man? Wow, that’s helpful.