San Francisco police today are investigating two separate hate crime incidents that occurred during this year's Pride weekend, one a reported attack against a member of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence and the other the beating of two women.
According to a SFPD spokesperson Albie Esparza, on Saturday a member of the queer order of nuns was taking donations for an event with her husband at Castro and 18th when a group of men began hurling slurs and throwing punches. After leaving the two with head injuries, the suspects fled the scene. They remain at large. Both victims reported pain but were not hospitalized. SF Weekly reports Esparza as saying, "The Department is investigating it as a hate crime, because it's believed that the attack was based on sexual orientation." The suspects are described as two Hispanic men aged 18 to 25, one white man between age 18 to 25, and one African-American woman aged 18 to 25. The three men are said to have been wearing their long hair in ponytails.
In a separate incident, two women in their twenties were attacked on Saturday evening around 5:30 pm by a group of six men who surrounded them, and punched and kicked them. The alleged assailants were reported to have used homophobic slurs, leading to the police department to investigate the incident as a hate crime. Unlike in the other attack, both victims were taken to SF General Hospital, where they were treated for their injuries. The suspects have been described as three Hispanic men and two African-American men aged from 16 to 20, some of whom were wearing flannel shirts.
Anyone with information on either incident is asked to call the San Francisco Police Department at 415-575-4444. In hopes of locating the suspect, the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence have released a photo of the nun attacked on Saturday (shown above).
Yesterday, arrests were made in two unrelated shootings that took place during Pride. In the first, a woman in the wrist on Market and 6th and in the other shots were fired at Golden Gate Avenue and Hyde Street. Police did not say if either of those two incidents were directly related to the festivities. Though there was no indication that the outbreak of violence would cause authorities to rethink the Pride celebration, in 2006, the shooting of nine people during the Castro Halloween celebrations led the city to call of that event.