Man Detained in Castro Window Vandalism
San Francisco police are investigating a man suspected of breaking windows at the GLBT History Museum and the Magnet health center, which are located across the street from each other in the Castro neighborhood.
Sergeant Chuck Limbert, LGBT liaison for the San Francisco Police Department’s Mission Station, said the man has been detained after allegedly breaking windows at the museum, 4127 18th Street, and Magnet, 4122 18th Street, between 6 and 6:30 a.m. Monday, October 29. The man hadn’t been arrested as of early Tuesday afternoon, October 30.
"We do have a suspect, and we are doing a full investigation related to it," Limbert said. He declined to share many details about the man, but he said the window vandalism wasn’t a hate crime.
Limbert said the man’s alleged actions also weren’t related to celebrations in the Castro and other neighborhoods that took place after the San Francisco Giants won the World Series Sunday night, October 28. Events in some parts of the city that night turned violent.
The district attorney’s office announced that as of Tuesday afternoon nine people would be charged with crimes including assault on a police officer, negligent discharge of a firearm, robbery, and arson of property.
Limbert declined to say whether there were any witnesses to the windows being broken, but he said police are examining video surveillance footage from the area and other information.
Paul Boneberg, executive director of the GLBT Historical Society, which runs the museum, said, "Two of the four windows were smashed and need to be replaced." A bottle was thrown through one of the windows, he said, but he didn’t know what was used to break the other one.
He estimated the windows would cost from $3,000 to $5,000 altogether to replace. However, he said, "None of the displays were in any way affected." The museum was closed Monday but it was open again for regular hours Tuesday.
Boneberg, who said his understanding was that the incident occurred around 4:45 to 5 a.m. Monday, said besides replacing the windows, "My guess is we’ll also upgrade our security systems and insurance."
Donations for replacing the museum’s windows are being accepted. For more information, visit http://www.glbthistory.org.
Ryan McKeel, a spokesman for San Francisco AIDS Foundation, which operates Magnet, sent an email to several staff members Tuesday morning that said the center "sustained minor window damage during the Giants victory celebrations on Sunday night." A photo provided by SFAF showed a window that had been shattered, but not completely smashed.
Magnet, which provides STD testing and other services, "is open for business as usual this week," McKeel said. "The damage to the front window does not pose any risk to customers or pedestrians, and the window will soon be replaced."