‘Just not worth it,’ says S.F. store owner after being bitten twice by homeless people

Gil Desaulniers says that when he tried Friday to subdue a violent homeless man in his San Francisco grocery, the man bit him on his arm, KGO reported.

Police arrested Adam Aschebrock, 29, on suspicion of aggravated assault and battery, KRON reported.

And it’s not the first such incident — Desaulnniers says a homeless woman also bit him in June, KGO reported.

He says conditions around Harvest Urban Market, which he opened with his sister in the South of Market neighborhood 16 years ago, have deteriorated, according to the station.

“About every half hour to hour we have some kind of incident, another theft, violence, crazy people walking around, people who need mental health,” he told KRON. “There’s needles everywhere… people have threatened me with a needle.”

Desaulniers says he and his sister, who says she’s also been attacked in the store, are considering shutting down the business, according to the station.

“It’s just not worth it,” Desaulniers said, KGO reported. “We’re not even running our business anymore. We’re basically dealing with street people.”

A January “point in time” count found the homeless population of San Francisco had grown by 17 percent over the 2018 count to more than 8,000 people, KQED reported.

The count also found a 43 percent jump in Alameda County and a 31 percent increase in Santa Clara County, according to the station.

In August 2018, San Francisco leaders unveiled plans for a public works “poop patrol” to target rising complaints about human waste on city streets and sidewalks, McClatchy news group previously reported.

Plans for the patrol sparked plenty of mockery, but the city had received 14,597 complaints about waste on sidewalks since January 2018, according to the story.

San Francisco now spends about $300 million annually dealing with homelessness, KQED reported.

Mayor London Breed says more changes are on the way to address the problems, KGO reported.

“I would say to people who have had enough to just hold on,” Breed told the station. “We’re working toward resolving the issue. It will take some time but we ask for patience.”

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Don Sweeney has been a newspaper reporter and editor in California for more than 25 years. He has been a real-time reporter based at The Sacramento Bee since 2016.