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Brutal youth brawls at San Francisco mall caught on camera

Brutal youth attacks at San Francisco mall caught on camera
Brutal youth attacks at San Francisco mall caught on camera 03:56

SAN FRANCISCO -- There have been multiple fights at San Francisco's Stonestown Galleria shopping center involving students. The latest attacks happened last week inside the Target store and at the food court and were captured on cellphone video.

Mall workers said mob violence broke out Friday after 4 p.m. Witnesses say it was a beat-down. Cellphone video showed a group of students with backpacks punching and kicking a person inside the Target store. One of the youths can be seen slamming a victim to the ground.

Update: San Francisco city leaders promise action after multiple violent incidents involving youth    

The victim used his hands to protect his head as he was repeatedly struck. Other young people watched the attack and recorded it on their phones. Some witnesses told KPIX they were scared to intervene fearing the attackers would turn on them.

A short time later, another attack broke out in the Stonestown food court. It's unclear if it involved the same group of students. Two victims were assaulted although the attackers focused mostly on one young person.

ALSO READ: SF Stonestown Galleria mall workers, shoppers says recent violence becoming commonplace

Witnesses told KPIX they don't know why the kids jumped the two victims nor do they know if the attackers knew their victims. 

The second attack on Friday happened right in front of food court vendor Guang Wei whose merchandise was damaged.

"I'm very scared," Wei said. "I cannot continue to do business here in this kind of environment."

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Speaking in Mandarin, Wei told KPIX he's leaving when his lease is up in June.

He and other restaurant workers say there were also multiple fights involving students inside the mall on Wednesday. They say that, in the last year, it has been a common occurrence for fights to break out at the mall on Wednesdays and Fridays.

In the past, security guards have been attacked while attempting to break up the fights.

KPIX has not learned the identity of the victims. They can be seen in the video running for safety. San Francisco police have not said if they detained anyone. They would only say they're stepping up patrols at the mall.

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Supervisor Joel Engardio believes the department may be pulling officers from other districts to help since the Taraval station has only seven patrol officers working on any given night.

"We're short 500 police officers for a city our size. We need police officers to walk the beat, be on the street, be at shopping centers like Stonestown," Engardio said. "We don't have that luxury right now because we have so few police officers."

Many parents and students say they have seen the video on social media. They worry about student safety on- and off-campus. 

"I kind of got scared, I didn't want to watch the video anymore because of just how many people were on one person.  I felt horrible for the person," said Kathryn Dubois, a 10th grader in the school district."

"I hope school principals are taking this seriously and I hope there are consequences.  And those consequences don't have to be expelling the kids, but they have to be consequences that are meaningful," said district parent Suzanne, who declined to provide her last name.  She was at the mall with her two daughters.

San Francisco Unified School District is aware of the Friday attacks.  A district spokesperson said they couldn't comment if the people involved were district students due to privacy laws.

Stonestown Galleria and Target store officials tell KPIX they are enhancing their security.

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