Look, I get that weird things can happen everywhere in a big country but this story of a home invasion by what appears to be an escaped mental patient strikes me as something that could only happen in Gotham City or in San Francisco.
It wasn’t the wind that woke Cole Valley resident Jen Brown from her slumber just after 5 a.m. Saturday.
“I confronted him right here,” says Brown, who shows the broken side door. “I said, ‘what are you doing!’ ‘Who are you?’ ‘Why are you in my house!”‘…
“I see he was wearing hospital patient clothing and a nightshirt from a hospital and a medical band on his wrist and blood on his face, he had a loose fitting zipped hoodie and having a psychotic episode” says Brown.
The man started running through Brown’s home, smashing things. She tried to get him to sit down and relax but he was spinning around her living room as if looking for something. Finally, the tossed a portable radiator out of her window and then hurled himself after it. It was a 3rd story window and the area below was a brick walkway.
Neighbors who heard the commotion and breaking glass came outside armed with baseball bats and hockey sticks. One of Brown’s neighbors found a severed finger in his yard. Police arrived and arrested 41-year-old Russel Long who had a number of injuries.
ABC 7 reached out to some local hospitals but none of them could explain where Long might have come from. Amazingly, this isn’t the first time this has happened in the neighborhood:
Jen and a number of neighbors say there have been several incidents involving individuals committing crimes wearing hospital wristbands or gowns…
“The reason I wanted to tell the story is not for the sensation and to exploit. This exposes a greater problem. The mental health homeless problem in San Francisco is real.”
Yes, the mentally ill homeless problem in San Francisco is very real and this is just one minor example of it. Here’s the ABC report:
Last Friday the SF Examiner reported on another striking example of the mentally ill homeless. His name is James Durgin aka “the man in the woods.”
James Durgin has been charged with 54 felonies. That’s on top of 104 misdemeanor cases. Judges have ordered him to undergo a dozen mental health evaluations. He’s been represented by more than 40 public defenders, who have represented him against more than 40 assistant district attorneys.
He’s been sent to various jails and rehabs, but always ended up back on the streets of San Francisco. And the forests of the Presidio. He is “the man in the woods,” as some people call him, lurking about and stalking residents late at night.
Stalking is not an exaggeration in this case. Durgin has become fixated on one woman in particular. She lives alone in a home near the woods where Durgin has made his home. In the past he has left her flirty messages and arrived at her door late at night completely naked. Here’s an NBC report on Durgin, part of a series called Saving San Francisco.