San Diego

Altercation Between Employee, Transient Highlights Frustrations Over Homeless Crisis

An altercation between a restaurant employee and a transient man on a Pacific Beach sidewalk is shining a light on interactions between homeless and the public, and how police respond when called.

A video of the altercation first surfaced on Twitter Wednesday.

The transient man is attacked by a man who employees nearby say is the owner of the B-Mo’s sandwich shop on Garnet Avenue. The transient man is first hit in the head with a table that was on the sidewalk and then has his belongings thrown out into the street.

Employees at B-Mo's on Thursday told NBC 7 the man in the video wasn’t working. Employees of nearby businesses told NBC 7 the worker has had run-ins with the same transient man before.

A San Diego Police Department lieutenant said the department re-opened an investigation after the video surfaced. The lieutenant said what he saw on that video could very well be considered battery.

Nearby employees say when police have been called to the area in the past, the response is generally slow because a person camped out front doesn't constitute an immediate threat.

Many say they don't condone what happened in the video, but they do recognize safety is a concern when it comes to transients camped on public walkways.

“I don't know the context of the video in particular, but it is a physical representation of what's been happening, not just in PB, but across the state, and quite frankly, of the frustration occurring on all sides,” Discover PB employee Sarah Berns said.

SDPD said officers respond to all 911 or non-emergency calls and prioritize based on what is reported.

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