Vandalizing protesters go on rampage in SF’s Mission District

The San Francisco Local and wires

SAN FRANCISCO — Police in riot gear were on alert outside the Mission District station Monday night after a rowdy group of protesters splattered the station entrance with paint and smashed windows with crowbars.

A group of approximately 50 protesters, many of them dressed in black, targeted the station with the attack at around 9:15 p.m., Sgt. Daryl Fong said. Vandals wielding crowbars smashed windows and threw paint at the station, located in the 600 block of Valencia Street, according to police.

After initially focusing on the station, the group moved down Valencia Street smashing car windshields and windows to nearby businesses. A BMW SUV was reportedly be lit on fire with a flare, causing extensive damage to the vehicle.

No information regarding possible detentions or arrests was immediately available.

Sgt. Daryl Fong said the situation was active and ongoing as of 10:30 p.m.

Jesse Smith, a protester with Occupy Oakland, said the evening started with a peaceful gathering at Dolores Park and he was horrified by the turn of events.

Smith said he was "more than a little shaken" by the vandalism and did not know who was responsible.

"I know Occupiers," Smith said. "None of us have any idea who they were."

The gathering at Dolores Park, a pre-May Day celebration, led to a march down Mission District streets, Smith said.

A small group out of what he estimated to be hundreds of protesters began smashing "one window right after another," he said.

Smith said Occupy organizers, among other activist groups, have planned a number of family-friendly events and demonstrations for May Day.

"I don't know how this is going to affect that," Smith said. "This is really heartbreaking."

Photo caption: Mission Police Station damage. (KTVU)