I Witnessed a Violent Phone Robbery on Muni


Photo by Bill Swingle

Late last night we saw a disturbing tweet from reader Steve S.: “On Muni. Four thugs just pistol whipped the shit out of some poor girl, stole her phone, and bolted.” We asked him what happened. Here is his story.

I was riding Muni home late tonight from downtown from 4th and Market, I think on the 6 outbound. At the very back row of the bus was a young woman, probably somewhere between age 16 and 20, sitting by herself. There were 15 to 20 people on the bus.

Around 5th or 6th street, a group of three or four men dressed in hoodies got on and were standing close to one another at the entrance of the rear door. I assume they were whispering or talking quietly to each other, but I had headphones on and couldn’t hear. They were fiddling with something in their hoodies’ pockets.

Nothing unusual was going on, and shady people on Muni is nothing new, so I looked out the window for a few moments. Around 8:30 p.m., at the 8th Street island, suddenly there was yelling and shouting coming from the front and back of the bus. I see at least two of the men rush from the back out the doors, and one man fighting with the girl, who was screaming at him to leave her. I saw something that looked like a gun in his right hand as he was grabbing her hand holding her phone with his left. I saw him punch her in the face twice and then run out the rear door with her phone. This all happened in the span of about 10 seconds.

The bus driver stopped the bus and someone nearer to her called 911. The girl was holding her face which was red but didn’t appear to be bleeding. She looked like she was on the verge of tears. On the seat next to me was a clip from the gun, presumably dropped during the flight, which someone else noticed and picked up. They speculated that it was a clip to a fake gun or a bebe gun, but I don’t know if it was or not. SFPD showed up in minutes.

The SFMTA told us that their video unit is pulling video of the incident. Be careful out there, everyone.

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