A pair of frightening incidents happened Monday evening as San Francisco residents were walking in Noe Valley.
Two male victims reported being approached by a vehicle and then chased by a group of four men wearing Halloween masks, one of whom was brandishing a baseball bat.
The second of the two incidents can be seen in video surveillance footage obtained by Hoodline. The attackers can be heard laughing in the video as they re-enter the vehicle and drive away.
In the first incident, at approximately 11:07 p.m. Monday evening, Noe Valley resident Matt Borg was walking home southbound on Sanchez Street, between Clipper and 26th streets.
Borg was approached by a silver SUV. Borg tells Hoodline the vehicle slowed down, one of the occupants rolled down their window and asked, "Hey, are you Sammy?" He replied, "No, I'm not Sammy."
The person in the vehicle asked the same question again, and Borg said he was put on edge by the line of questioning.
The vehicle then blocked the intersection at 26th and Sanchez, and three men exited the SUV. The driver of the SUV remained in the vehicle.
"The man who exited from the rear passenger side was wearing a black, meshed, full hooded mask, with a circular white face that looked like a cross between Jack Skellington and the Scream mask," Borg said. "The masked man was also wielding an aluminum bat, above his head, ready to strike."
According to Borg, the two other men who exited the vehicle were unarmed and not wearing masks.
Borg then began to run from the men and was able to activate the Emergency SOS on his cell phone. The men disengaged, and Borg explained the incident to a 911 operator.
As he made his way home, he was again confronted by the same vehicle, except this time, the occupants pretended to be good Samaritans. Borg easily recognized them and told them to keep their distance.
The masked man again exited the vehicle, bat in hand, and approached Borg. Borg says he screamed and explained to 911 what was happening. The vehicle then abruptly left, heading westbound on 26th Street.
SFPD officers arrived on scene approximately 10 minutes later and took a report.
Minutes after the first incident, at approximately 11:11 p.m., a silver SUV approached another victim on Jersey Street between Castro and Diamond Streets.
The victim, who asked to remain anonymous, tells Hoodline he was walking to his home in the Castro when the vehicle stopped and multiple car doors opened simultaneously.
He described seeing men wearing Halloween masks exit the vehicle. "The one standing out the most was an orange jack-o-lantern mask that had a sinister smile," he said. "It sent chills to my bones when I saw one holding a baseball bat."
The victim said the attackers immediately bolted at him, and one shouted an anti-black racial slur.
"They chased me me down and one tried grabbing me, and one tried to swing the bat," he explained.
He said he screamed at the top of his lungs for help. "It seemed hopeless," he said. "I tried to wake the entire neighborhood up to get help."
When he reached Jersey and Diamond streets, he was able to hide on a stoop and dial 911.
Police arrived moments later, and the victim filed a police report.
Neither of the victims were physically injured in the incidents. SFPD confirmed the victims' reports, but said no arrests have yet been made.
"Both victims had similar but not identical descriptions of the vehicle and the suspects," said SFPD spokesperson Robert Rueca. "[But] at this time, we cannot confirm that these are the same suspects and vehicle."
Anyone who has information about these incidents is encouraged to contact SFPD via the department's anonymous tip line at (415) 575-4444, or text TIP411 with "SFPD" at the start of the message.
Did you witness either of these incidents on Monday? If so, we'd love to hear from you: email [email protected] or text us at (415) 200-3233.