Austin James Vincent


Victim Of Attack Dismayed That Judge Released Suspect

Tim Ryan
August 15, 2019 - 10:31 am

SAN FRANCISCO - A woman who was attacked outside of her Beale Street condo on Sunday is dismayed to learn that the suspect was released so quickly. 

Austin James Vincent, a 25-year-old transient, was arrested after the attack, which was captured on surveillance video in the building's lobby. 

The woman, whose first name is Paneez, asked KCBS Radio not to use her last name. She said the attacker appeared mentally unstable and high when he approached her, mumbling that robots were taking over. 

She fought with the man, and, with help from security, was able to get inside the building and call police. 

Paneez told KCBS Radio that the incident was scary, but she's infuriated about what's happened since then. 

Vincent was arraigned on Monday, and charged with false imprisonment, attempted robbery and battery. A judge decided he was eligible for release from custody and freed him on Wednesday. 

"I had just started feeling better, he was in jail and I felt safe, but once they let me know he was out on the streets, I started shaking again," Paneez said. "The trauma was back, it was like reliving that moment all over again."

Just outside the doors to the Watermark building where Paneez lives is the waterfront parking lot that's being turned into a homeless navigation center.

This is the same project that neighborhood residents had unsuccessfully tried to stop. 

Paneez has noticed more homeless people milling about in the area since that project was approved. 

"Newcomers are coming to this neighborhood because they know there is a new homeless shelter opening up," she said, " and the city is not taking proper measurements for our safety."