Customers report attacks on outdoor patios.
Image: Hillcrest sign 091206
SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - Residents and businesses in Hillcrest say they're being attacked by the homeless. They're calling it retaliation following the recent Hepatitis A outbreak.
Whenever the homeless are swept out of downtown, they find somewhere else to go. Benjamin Nicholls with the Hillcrest Business Association says this time, they're more aggressive.
"Myself and my staff have been attacked by homeless people," said Nicholls.
He says they turned decorative rocks on the sidewalk into weapons. He believes he was targeted after calling security on one man.
"He picked up rocks and was throwing rocks at me," said Nicholls. "Then, he does this thing where he would charge directly at you, he won't actually make contact, but it's very intimidating."
It happened to another person on his staff who fell and dislocated his hip while trying to avoid being hit.
"If you interrupt their panhandling or their camp on the sidewalk they get very aggressive, and they want to retaliate against you or me or whoever is disturbing them," said Nicholls.
One outdoor restaurant on University Avenue says it has had people disrupting customers on their patio by stealing off their plates and spitting in their food.
Other businesses in Hillcrest had windows smashed, and locks on their doors glued shut.
"In all of those situations, the response we get from the police department is 'There's nothing we can do,"' said Nicholls.
He says they now have to cut back on beautification projects like those rocks on the sidewalk and landscaping around the neighborhood because they keep getting destroyed by the homeless.
One restaurant on University tells 10News they're putting up glass partitions on their patios to protect their customers from being disturbed.