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A library security guard was attacked by a dog while trying to administer Narcan to its unresponsive owner in San Francisco Sunday – as crime and fatal overdoses in the city continue to surge.
Security guards at the city’s Main Library noticed the man slumped over a computer kiosk around 5.40 pm with his dog repeatedly barking beside him. Kate Patterson, a spokesperson for the library, said the dog ‘was not on a leash and was exhibiting aggressive behavior.’
When the guards approached the man to determine if he had overdosed on opioids and needed Narcan, the dog ‘would not let them near him,’ Patterson told KTVU.
Witnesses captured on video the harrowing moment the pit bull lunged at one of the guards, grabbing his arm in its jaws and pulling him to the ground.
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Witnesses captured the harrowing moment the dog lunged at one of the guards, grabbing hold of his arm in its jaws and pulling him to the ground
As the dog viciously shakes the arm, the guard tries to punch the animal with his free hand. As an onlooker shouts ‘get ‘im!’ another guard sprays a substance at its face and beats it with his belt
As the dog viciously shakes his arm, the guard yells in pain and tries to punch the animal with his free hand. Another guard shoots pepper spray at the dog’s face and beats it with his night stick. A third security guard appears to rush over to help.
‘Hit him, hit him,’ one guard can be heard screaming.
The dog’s owner was unresponsive during the attack, until another witness woke him.
‘Once alert, he was able to get control of the dog, who he claimed was a service animal. The patron was uncooperative and argumentative with staff following the incident,’ the library said in a statement to KTVU.
Currently, the security guard is hospitalized with serious injuries, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
The dog was taken by Animal Control, and its owner was issued a citation from the sheriff’s department. The nine-year-old neutered pitbull named Dorje was a service animal, according to KTVU, and therefore allowed inside.
The animal’s fate has yet to be decided – after spending ten days quarantined at the San Francisco Department of Animal Care and Control to ensure it does not have rabies, the San Francisco Police Department will conduct a hearing to determine whether it should be put down.
Deb Campbell, a spokeswoman for the Department of Animal Care and Control, told the Chronicle that ‘so far, he’s been calm’ in her care.
The library said in a statement that it is reviewing its policy and plans to give its security staff resources to help them deescalate situations with aggressive dogs. It did not elaborate on the types of resources.
‘The safety of our patrons and staff are of the utmost importance, and we are doing everything we can to ensure that this never happens again,’ the library said, remarking that this was the first ‘severe dog attack’ to take place in the building.
DailyMail.com could not reach the library for comment regarding whether overdoses in the building also were a matter of concern.
Pictured is a homeless man lying on the steps of the San Francisco Public Library. DailyMail.com could not reach the library for comment regarding whether overdoses in the building were also a matter of concern
The incident comes a month after Mayor London Breed declared a state of emergency in the city’s poorest neighborhood, the Tenderloin. Last year, the 650 overdose deaths in San Francisco outnumbered the city’s 430 deaths due to complications from COVID-19.
Although overdose deaths dipped by 9 percent citywide from 711 in 2020, they have been on an otherwise steady upwards trend over the last decade, gradually climbing from 222 in 2017. The rise is fueled by the increasing prevalence of fentanyl, which can be 50 times more powerful than heroin.
The uptick in overdose deaths has given San Francisco the highest per capita death rate in the state of California, and one of the highest among other major US cities, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
The Drug Overdose Prevention and Education Project tracked 8,200 overdose reversals with Narcan last year, almost twice as many as 2020, which had 4,300.
The most recent homeless population in San Francisco, tallied by Point-in-Time Homeless Count, is 2019. There were 8,035 homeless residents recorded, up by 14 percent from 2017.
Compared to 2020, total crime last year in San Francisco was up by 12.1 percent, according to department statistics. Assaults went up by 9.1 percent to 2,383, and larcenies in skyrocketed by 22.3 percent to 31,413.
Citizens of the City by the Bay face attacks on Asian American seniors, burglarized restaurants, and boarded-up storefronts in the city’s once-vibrant downtown.
A series of looting incidents with mobs smashing windows and grabbing luxury purses in the downtown Union Square shopping district also have made headlines.
‘There´s a widespread sense that things are on the wrong track in San Francisco,’ said Patrick Wolff, 53, a retired professional chess player from the Boston area who has lived in the city since 2005.
In a show of civic frustration, San Franciscans will vote next June on whether to recall District Attorney Chesa Boudin, a former public defender elected in 2019 who critics say is too lenient on crime.
Boudin’s office has filed charges in 46 percent of all theft cases it has received since he took office. In comparison, his predecessor George Gascon filed in 62 percent of all theft cases in 2018 and 2019, according to city data.
Boudin has an even lower rate in petty crime and has only pressed charges in 35 percent of all petty crime cases, compared to Gascon’s 58 percent.
Boudin also convicted far fewer people of both crimes than Gascon: 79 percent in theft cases and 62 percent of petty theft cases. Gascon had an 82 percent conviction rate for theft and a 77 percent conviction rate for petty theft.
Overall, Boudin has charged people with crimes in 48 percent of all cases, while Gascon has a charging rate of 54 percent.
Source: Daily Mail