A Dallas, Texas, photographer will never shoot at one of San Francisco’s most popular wedding venues again after a harrowing narrow escape from armed thugs.
Two photographers were reportedly robbed at gunpoint in two separate incidents while shooting weddings in the “city of chaos’s” Marina District on November 9.
Both crimes took place in broad daylight outside the Palace of Fine Arts, the last remaining structure from the Panama-Pacific International Exposition in 1915, and a popular venue for weddings, parties and large events.
A witness filmed a video of the Dallas photographer being attacked by two armed assailants who attempted to steal the photographer’s expensive camera equipment during an engagement photoshoot.
“I was just freaked out,” the photographer who wished to remain anonymous told ABC7. “I tried to protect the client’s memories.”
In the video, the two armed and masked assailants approach the victim and snatch a camera bag from his arms. The photographer then wrestles the bag away while being repeatedly “pistol-whipped” by the brazen thugs. A tussle ensues and the suspects eventually flee empty-handed.
“The bride was crying the whole time,” the photographer said, telling reporters the ordeal was so frightening he will never shoot at the Palace of Fine Art again.
Another photographer was also assaulted the same day, according to witnesses.
“A bit earlier in the day, a photographer from the Bay Area witnessed another photographer being robbed at gunpoint outside the Palace of Fine Arts,” ABC7 reported. “In the video he recorded, you can see a suspect run away with a gear bag.”
Both incidents were reported to the San Francisco Police Department but they have yet to respond with comments and those who’ve seen the videos are scared and dismayed.
“Just watching kind of like the struggle and everything. I just felt for him,” said San Francisco-based wedding photographer Monica Lam. “I felt for the couple because I know that they felt helpless.”
Twitter users were quick to point out that such behavior would not be tolerated in states with strong Second Amendment protections.
You should be armed with more than a camera. Problem solved
— debra foreman (@debf9355) November 14, 2022
Oh, try that in my state of Tx. Man he would never see daylight again
— Yeni Moreno (@Nbdycares01) November 14, 2022
Gee I bet the couple is so happy that California has such strict gun laws
— John Parsons (@JohnPar84489489) November 14, 2022
Good. They voted for this. Let them deal with the consequences.
— Jonathan the Goalie (@GoalieJonathan) November 13, 2022
In a city where 50 percent of the population has reportedly been robbed in the past five years, the brazen attacks aren’t surprising. According to an NPR poll conducted in September, 43 percent of white, 54 percent of black and 55 percent of mixed-race San Franciscans asserted they had been robbed in recent years.
Crime shot up 8.5 percent in 2022 over 2021, prompting businesses to close their doors to avoid falling victim to the city’s liberal crime policies.
In October, popular outdoor outfitter Cotopaxi closed the brand’s San Francisco store due to rampant crime after only one year in the downtown location.
“It’s sad, but San Francisco appears to have descended into a city of chaos,” CEO Davis Smith said. “Many streets and parks are overrun with drugs, criminals, and homelessness, and local leadership and law enforcement enable it through inaction.”
Organized theft was so prevalent that the store started keeping the doors locked until a customer approached, but organized crime groups began sending a woman to knock on the door before rushing inside behind her, Smith said.
“Our team is terrified. They feel unsafe,” he said. “It’s impossible for a retail store to operate in these circumstances, especially when cities refuse to take any action (despite us paying taxes well above any other state we operate in). The city recently announced a reduction of police presence in this neighborhood, despite mass-scale crime.”
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