The 85-year-old victim of assault and 40 Days for Life San Francisco vigil leader poses with Shawn Carney, president and CEO of 40 Days for Life.
By Aliya Kuykendall, The Stream, March 27, 2019
An 85-year old leader of a 40 Days for Life vigil in San Francisco was thrown to the ground and kicked repeatedly by an unidentified young adult male on March 21.
A 40 Days for Life spokesperson told The Stream that the elderly man sustained a few bruises but is otherwise unhurt. She said when she spoke with him by phone on Wednesday morning, he was back near the vigil location.
The assailant had disrupted, harassed and attacked the group of pro-life advocates holding a prayer vigil outside of a Planned Parenthood facility before. The unknown perpetrator approached the vigil on March 19 and threw a sign, a table and pro-life literature into the street. He then knocked the 85-year-old man, named only as Ron on 40 Days for Life’s website, and another man to the ground.
The assailant returned two days later and stole a banner from the vigil. Video footage shows what happened next.
Ron, the vigil leader, tried unsuccessfully to stop the perpetrator from riding off with the banner by pushing a wooden pole into his bicycle’s spokes. The young man used his bicycle to push Ron to the ground.
“Old man, stay on the ground,” the attacker shouted while trying to leave with the banner. While still lying on the ground, Ron grabbed hold of the banner and held on.
“Stay down, old man, unless you want to get hurt,” the assailant shouted and kicked Ron repeatedly.
Video footage of the attack ends there. 40 Days for Life reported that Ron was treated by paramedics at the scene and police officers took statements from victims. A spokesperson for 40 Days for Life told The Stream that the police investigation is pending.
Planned Parenthood allegedly has footage of the assault from their security cameras but it has been initially reported that the organization will not release the video or assist in the investigation. Life Legal, a pro-life legal organization, is representing Ron.
“40 Days for Life vigils have a 12 year track record of being peaceful. This attack on an 85-year old man — who has been leading the San Francisco campaign for years — by a young aggressor shows that the idea that San Francisco is tolerant is a joke,” Shawn Carney, president and CEO of 40 Days for Life said in an official statement. “We believe every person should be treated with kindness, love and respect, even those with whom we may disagree.”
Aliya is a Staff Writer and Proofreader for The Stream.
Before joining The Stream, Aliya wrote as an intern for her local city newspaper and was an editor of her student newspaper. In her free time, Aliya enjoys connecting with friends, deep conversations, cooking up something healthy and learning something new. If you know something about the Bible; the good, true and beautiful; justice or health, watch out: she’s insatiably curious.