Waterfront neighbors demand halt to navigation center after attack, suspect to appear in court Monday

ByCornell W. Barnard via KGO logo
Monday, August 19, 2019
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Austin James Vincent is expected to appear in court for a compliance hearing on Monday, according to the San Francisco Public Defender's office.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- On Sunday, the San Francisco Public Defender's office said the man accused of attacking a woman at her apartment building is expected to make a court appearance on Monday.

Austin James Vincent's public defender sent ABC7 News a new picture of the man and says their client is in compliance with release orders, and "responding well to treatment." He will be in court Monday for a compliance hearing.

There is growing fallout following the attack, and a renewed plea from waterfront residents to stop a proposed homeless navigation center from being built in their picturesque neighborhood.

VIDEO: Woman attacked in front of home by man believed to be homeless

"I have one hope, that's for the city to take action and make us feel safe," said Paneez Kosarian.

Kosarian made that urgent plea alongside her neighbors Sunday.

Just days ago, she was attacked by a homeless man outside her condo's lobby. The terrifying struggle was caught on surveillance video.

She survived, but now joins her waterfront neighbors in calling for a halt of a 130-200 bed homeless navigation center that's being built right next door to Kosarian's high-rise complex.

RELATED: Judge has public safety concerns after seeing video of woman attacked in San Francisco

"It's a drug problem, this is mental illness, you're putting them next door. How can you put us in danger," asked Kosarian.

Following the attack, Vincent was released by a judge who was criticized for the move. But the judge reconsidered after viewing video of the attack and ordered Vincent to wear a ankle monitor.

Mayor London Breed told us on Friday that GPS tracking isn't enough.

"I think that this is clearly a man who needs help. The fact he was released without a real plan around how we're going to get him help so that he won't do it again, that's what I'm concerned about," said Mayor Breed.

The mayor's office says there is no link between the creation of a navigation center and an increase in crime.

That areas supervisor Matt Haney says he's outraged by the recent attack, but told ABC7 News in a statement:

"There is a devastating homelessness crisis citywide and on the waterfront. Navigation centers are a critical, proven tool to get thousands of people off the streets."

But some neighbors don't agree.

"If the city doesn't make changes to the way it operates, the shelter next door will be home to more Mr. Vincent's who pose a danger to public," said Wallace Lee from Safe Embarcadero for All.