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‘Fighting for my life.’ Video captures attack outside woman’s San Francisco apartment

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Do you know what to do if you accidentally dial 911? Do you know what information is crucial in an emergency? Here's what you need to know to get the police, fire or ambulance service you need fast.

San Francisco police have made an arrest in the violent attack that a woman endured while trying to get into her apartment building over the weekend.

Police said 25-year-old Austin James Vincent was booked on false imprisonment, battery and attempted robbery charges, KTVU reports. A San Francisco District Attorney’s Office spokesman said that — despite prosecutors’ concerns — Vincent was released from jail “on assertive case management” after he pleaded not guilty in court on Tuesday, KGO reports.

Video posted on Twitter by a woman who said she was the victim shows a front desk concierge frantically using the phone and trying to help the victim as the attacker and victim grapple with one another at the glass front door. Eventually the victim makes it safely inside the building, which SFGate identified as the Watermark condos on Beale and Bryant streets along the Embarcadero downtown.

The incident happened Sunday around 1:40 a.m., SFGate reported.

Officers later apprehended Vincent roughly a block away from the site of the attack, KRON4 reported.

The victim suffered “nerve damage and bruising on her hands and arm, but is happy to be alive,” according to KRON4.

“He was mentally insane and tried to rub me as well as forcing me to let him into our building,” Twitter user Paneez Kosarianfard, who identified herself as the victim, wrote on Aug. 13.

She told KTVU that the man was abnormally strong and “said that everyone’s a robot, he’s trying to save my life the front desk lady is a robot. He said, ‘Open that door. I’ll kill that person in front of you so I can gain your trust.’ He kept saying, ‘Come with me, I’m trying to save your life.’ I was fighting for my life, at my own house, trying to get inside one door.”

The attack happened after the man knocked the victim’s phone from her grasp and dragged her off her feet, NBC Bay Area reported.

Locals who oppose a proposed homeless shelter nearby seized on the attack.

“We live in concern and with fear of what may come because of the inability of the City to listen to the concerns, and follow its own rules, in the creation of new homeless centers and facilities,” said Safe Embarcadero For All board member Wallace Lee, according to KTVU.

KPIX 5 reported that condo security called 911 prior to the attack, but the police response was delayed.

“The officers who were responding to that call were diverted to a domestic violence call nearby,” Sgt. Michael Andraychak said, according to KPIX 5. “Once the subject’s behavior escalated further and it became assaultive, it became an A priority call and the officers were able to respond and take that subject into custody.”

The victim said the attack left her ready to move from her home, according to KPIX 5.

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Jared Gilmour is a McClatchy national reporter based in San Francisco. He covers everything from health and science to politics and crime. He studied journalism at Northwestern University and grew up in North Dakota.
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