Merchants mobilize after violent stabbing, robbery
Examiner Staff Writer
August 30, 2008
The head of a merchant association in the normally quiet neighborhood of Glen Park is renewing his demand for a police surveillance camera at Diamond and Chenery streets after the owner of a corner market was nearly stabbed to death during a robbery Friday night.
Glen Park Merchant’s Association President Ric Lopez, owner of ModernPast furniture store on Chenery Street, said he has been asking San Francisco police to install a camera at the busy corner for three years. Paul Park, the 53-year-old owner of Buddy’s Super Market on Chenery Street at Diamond Street, was beaten and stabbed, and a fellow employee was kidnapped by unknown suspects late Friday, according to police.
Park has been transferred out of San Francisco General Hospital’s intensive-care unit and was listed in stable condition Sunday, nurses said.
“Everybody in the neighborhood is in shock still — it was just brutal,” Lopez said. “We’ve been asking for the camera for years, but I think residents need to ask for it, too. I think we could probably get it this time.”
Police are still looking for four suspects, described as black men, who broke into Buddy’s through the rear door of the market and attacked Park, kidnapped another employee and forced the worker to drive Park’s van to Daly City, where they took off on their own, SFPD spokesman Neville Gittens said.
The van, a tan 2002 Toyota Sienna with California license plate 4VHN307, is still missing, police said.
Friday’s robbery is the latest in a string of violent crimes in the close-knit San Francisco neighborhood. Luis Diaz, 39, was shot and killed on the 800 block of Chenery Street on Aug. 5, just two blocks from the corner of Diamond Street. Robbie Valdespino, 31, turned himself in for the homicide a few days later, but police released him because they could not bring charges against him, according to the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office.
Several residents have been mugged this year, including Richard Tarlov, co-owner of Canyon Market, who was mugged after closing his business one night this spring.
This month, Critter Fritters, a pet store on Chenery Street, was burglarized after-hours by a suspect who stole cash, a credit card machine and a fax machine, employee Antonio Jerez said. Police recovered the goods but not the suspect.
“I’m scared to close the store by myself now,” Jerez said, adding that many local businesses are nervous. “[After our robbery], Paul Park said he was afraid he was going to get hit next.”
Businesses are being urged to watch each other’s storefronts and install extra lighting for safety, said Lopez, who will establish a bank account Tuesday where locals can donate funds for Park’s medical expenses.
This article originally appeared in the San Francisco Examiner.