The Civic Theater public restrooms have a history of safety issues and a heavy transient population. San Diego police confirm that last fall, a city employee was reportedly beaten by a man who was trying to bring a shopping cart into one of the stalls.
Patrons tell 10News that people are known to use drugs and sleep inside the restrooms. “Some of [the people] have bad tempers so you have to have the means to protect yourself,” says Allstate security guard Herbert Bridges.
He’s one of the new guards outside the Civic Theatre, armed with a 9mm handgun. He says he and his coworkers are also allowed to carry batons and pepper spray.
“We will never use weapons unless it’s absolutely necessary," he adds.
In January, 10News’ Jon Horn broke the story that the city was looking at the possibility putting armed security guards inside various city buildings with heavy transient populations, like the Downtown Library.
The city confirms it’s still several months until that could become a reality.