A man was unexpectedly tackled by a stranger while walking his dog in Duboce Park recently. The victim, who suffered a fractured hip socket as a result of the assault, is now reaching out to neighbors in an effort to track down the suspect.
On the afternoon of Tuesday August 10th, at around 1:50pm, 44-year-old Michael Harkin was passing Duboce Park Cafe. There, he witnessed a man intimidating a patron at the cafe, “muttering things akin to ‘You better shut your f-ing mouth’, and ‘you need to give me a reason not to kill you’” while “shoving some things” off a table.
Harkin continued past the cafe and into Duboce Park with his dog. According to Harkin, the suspect followed.
“After he stared at me for a couple minutes, I started walking away towards the Muni stop,” Harkin says. “The last time I saw him he was 30-40 yards behind me. He ran up to me and tackled me from behind, sending me flying through the air before landing on my side.”
A handful of neighbors ran to Harkin’s aide, but in the ensuing chaos, the suspect managed to flee the scene — as did Harkin’s dog.
Harkin called the police at 1:52pm. He says they responded promptly, taking his report and sending officers to patrol the area. They found Harkin’s dog safe and sound in Noe Valley, but have yet to find the suspect.
Harkin was hospitalized for over a week with a fractured hip socket that required “pretty invasive surgery.” Now, he’s expressing his gratitude toward those in the park who helped him, and reaching out to neighbors to warn them about the suspect. Obviously, he’d also like to see the assailant brought to justice.
The suspect is described by Harkin as “in his late 20s, early 30s. and is around 6’3″, slender, brownish wavy hair, possibly a mustache or goatee. Witnesses said that he had a large, possibly blue backpack or duffel bag. I recall that he looked like a typical Upper Haight punk, but was well-groomed and didn’t have any obvious tattoos or piercings.” Harkin adds, “he was clearly mentally disturbed.”
If you have any information that you think might be relevant, call the SFPD tip line at (415) 575-4444. Otherwise, stay alert out there, folks.