SAN FRANCISCO—Authorities arrested 19 people in connection with the break-in and takeover of a building in the Castro District.   The incident took place on Wednesday, October 10 at approximately 5:50pm according to a press release from the San Francisco Police Department website.  The suspects in the case gathered at Dolores Park in the Mission District and began a public protest march known as “Homes Not Jails.”   The group marched westbound on 18th Street blocking the roadway and interfering with the flow of traffic.

“At approximately 6:10 P.M., the group arrived at an unoccupied building on the 500 block ofCastro Street. Members of the group broke the locks to the entrance, unlawfully entered and vandalized the interior of the building. Three to four persons wearing dark clothing and masks over their faces climbed to the roof of the building,” states the press release from the SFPD.

Scene of the takeover. Photo courtesy of SF Gate.

Those individuals drilled into the building and begin hanging signs and banners. A portion of a metal chain fell from the building, but no pedestrians or officers were injured.   San Francisco Police officers entered the building at approximately 6:30pm and begin to make arrest to halt any further damage to the building.   One female suspect attempted escape, but broke her ankle in the process.   She was treated for medical attention and was later booked. Several additional suspects also attempted escape by fleeing to the rear of the building, but they were all located and apprehended by authorities.

Thirteen of the suspects arrested were male and six were females. Eight were residents ofSan Francisco, four were fromBerkeley, two fromTexasandOregonand one fromGreat BritainandCanada.   All suspects were charged with the following felonies: burglary, vandalism and conspiracy. An early estimate of damage to the building is in the thousands.

Any witnesses to the crimes perpetrated by this group are encouraged to notify San Francisco Police by calling the Special Investigations Division at (415) 553-1133, the Anonymous Tip Line at (415) 575-4444 or Text a Tip to: TIP411 and begin the text message with SFPD.