A wedding photographer was assaulted in downtown San Francisco during a photoshoot with a newlywed couple. Two men jumped out of a car and attempted to steal his camera in front of the couple.
Attacked While on the Job
The attack took place last week during a shoot on the corner of California and Powell, an intersection of streets just north of the Tenderloin and south of Nob Hill and Chinatown.
The couple, who asked not to be identified in an interview with NBC Bay Area, said that two men jumped out of a car and attacked their photographer, Ken Mendoza, and attempted to steal his camera.
Mendoza says he fought to keep his equipment and also the photos in the camera, memories for the couple that could not be replaced.
“The assailant grabbed my hand and my camera twice but I was able to punch my way out of that twice,” Mendoza tells NBC Bay Area.
The three managed to break free of the assailants, who jumped back in their vehicle and fled, the couple says. A witness called the police and reported that one of the attackers, the driver, had a firearm.
The suspects have not been apprehended.
A Call for More Police Funding
San Francisco Mayor London Breed and Police Chief Bill Scott say that in order to address the more than 2,200 reported robberies in San Francisco last year, more police presence is required.
“When officers are present, and this is proven time and time again, we have less events that’s why officers on foot on bikes are so important,” Scott said in a press conference earlier this week.
Mendoza also agrees that increased patrols would be a big help in combating a problem that has plagued the city.
“To have extra patrols at iconic locations not just for wedding photographers but this is why people visit San Francisco and spend money,” he says.
The couple are less enthusiastic.
“People like Chesa Boudin and London Breed are great about doing lip service about what they’re doing to stop crime but it’s not working,” the two tell NBC Bay Area. “I wake up every morning and think ‘my goodness one of us could have been a groom and a widower in the same day.’”
The Bay Area has been a hotbed for thefts aimed at photographers over the last year. Last, a San Francisco Chronicle photographer was robbed at gunpoint in the middle of the day, while PetaPixel contributor Jefferson Graham was robbed in San Francisco while filming a spot in March. In the same month, a San Francisco news crew was robbed while filming an interview about robberies. Photographers were robbed while stuck in traffic in February, a photographer was shot by robbers after refusing to give up her camera in September, and in October a photographer was followed home and robbed of his gear at gunpoint after photographing the Golden Gate bridge.
Image credits: Header photo licensed via Depositphotos.