Officials seek to curb park violence 

Pockets of Golden Gate Park that are known for criminal activity are receiving attention from city officials.

Supervisors Carmen Chu and Eric Mar have sponsored legislation calling for a hearing to address public safety issues in the park, especially lighting and increased police patrols.

“We are getting calls from constituents who are concerned,” said Mar, whose district covers the Richmond neighborhood and a portion of Golden Gate Park.

Mar said there are pockets of the park, especially on the western end near the soccer fields by the Beach Chalet restaurant, that are not well-lit and have a track record of crime and illegal sexual activity.

“It’s not a place you would want to go because you would not feel safe at night,” Mar said. “I want more of a safety plan by police and park patrol.”

What triggered the legislation was an alleged sexual assault that occurred April 19, Mar said. A woman was found on the ground behind the Park Chalet restaurant in Golden Gate Park moaning, with three men standing over her, according to police. On Friday, Capt. Richard Corriea issued a release saying police determined the incident was not a sexual assault, although he would not release any other details about the case, which is still being investigated.

Lara Truppelli, owner of the Beach Chalet restaurant, said safety near her business is a top priority.

“There are some areas out there that are not lit as well as they could be,” Truppelli said. “Everyone is very concerned.”

Two weeks ago, the Recreation and Park Commission approved renovations to the soccer fields in Golden Gate Park, with planned lighting that should help make the area safer, said Elton Pon, spokesman for the Recreation and Park Department.

“We are looking to that as a way to activate it and get folks using that end of the park,” Pon said. “I think that will improve it.”

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Erin Sherbert

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