Man arrested on assault charges in bloody attack at San Francisco Main Library 

A man was arrested in connection with a bloody assault Wednesday after he allegedly struck a library patron in the head with a chair.

Clifton W. Moore, 25, of San Francisco is facing two counts of assault with a deadly weapon and aggravated assault, Sgt. Danielle Newman said Thursday.

The victim, a 61-year-old man, was using a computer on the first floor of the Main Library, located in the Civic Center area, about 2:55 p.m. when seemingly out of nowhere he was struck by a chair, Newman said. He told police he felt something hit him on the right side of his head, but never saw the culprit and was unsure if he had lost consciousness, Newman said.

Several witnesses pointed out Moore as the suspect to library security, who detained him until police arrived.

The victim said he did not know the suspect and couldn't identify him, Newman said. He was taken to a hospital and treated for his injuries, which were not life-threatening.

Several library employees, who asked to remain anonymous, indicated that such incidents happen often and that although security did its job, they are still understaffed.

One longtime library employee said that while working at the main branch she has "been threatened, harassed and subjected to epithets on a weekly basis."

A story in The San Francisco Examiner on Sunday said that during May, the most recent month for which data were available, some 47 separate incidents of bad behavior were reported at the library's 28 branches. But the longtime employee said library management downplays the danger workers actually face.

"They are happy to trot out their statistics," she said, but they "minimize something that is a serious problem."

The employee also said that while she brings incidents to management's attention and fills out reports, not all incidents are logged and that skews the numbers.

"When faced with an incident, staff have to weigh the pros and cons of filling out paperwork because we have a lot of other library work to do," she said.

The library had no comment on Wednesday's incident.

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