Police to ride Muni after recent attacks

October 9, 2009 6:26:16 PM PDT
San Francisco police are increasing patrols on Muni buses, following two recent attacks on passengers. Both attacks were caught on tape, one by Muni camera and the other by a passenger's cell phone.

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The worst attack was on 18-year-old budding actor Christopher Borgzinner who appears in an upcoming Benjamin Bratt film called "La Mission," set in San Francisco's Mission District. Borgzinner was on his way to an acting class when he was attacked by multiple assailants. He says he has never been involved in gangs and his mother says it was a case of mistaken identity.

Police say the Muni video of the beating is very clear.

"We believe it's of quality that we can easily make identification if the witnesses or people we're currently showing it to know the individuals that were involved in this horrific assault," says San Francisco Dep. Chief David Shinn.

The 18 year old was attacked while riding the 9-San Bruno in the Mission on Monday night. Police say there will now be more uniformed and undercover officers on buses.

Wednesday, two women came to blows after arguing over a seat on the 20-Columbus in Chinatown. Passenger Jonathon Perel recorded the incident with his phone. He says he made the recording with evidence in mind. Just three weeks ago he was attacked on the same route and he says the driver did nothing.

"Bus driver kept on driving and tried to call into the central and nobody picked up and eventually got to my stop and the guy got off and that was that," says Perel.

"It's very clear in our rule book that Muni operators are required to call central control in the event of any violence or assault that is going on, on a vehicle, and from there central control would call the police department," says Muni spokesman Judson True.

"I think they just want to get to their stop and they don't really care. That's my understanding of their policy on what I've seen so far," says Perel.

Muni says the bus operator during Monday's beating did follow procedure and called in, but Muni is investigating why there was no call to central control during Wednesday's fight.

Borgzinenr told ABC7 on the phone on Friday that he's healing well, though numb from a lot of medication. He says he'll have to have surgery to repair the broken bones in his face, and he's been instructed not to do interviews to avoid retaliation.

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