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Woman speaks out after surviving brick to the head by homeless man in Balboa Park

Diane Brown says a man slammed a brick into the back of her head after she tried running around him last Saturday.

SAN DIEGO — A woman has come forward after she says she was attacked on the street outside the San Diego Zoo by a homeless man. Diane Brown says he slammed a brick into the back of her head. 

Brown lives near the San Diego Zoo where she volunteers and runs around Balboa Park a couple times a week. Brown says on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, around 11 a.m., she was jogging on Park Boulevard near Zoo Drive when she saw a homeless man throwing things at cars. 

When she tried to run around him she said, “He came at me. He said something in gibberish. I went around him and the next thing I know I got hit in the back of my head with the brick he had picked up. I will never forget that sound and that feeling. Just a WHAM! In the back of my head. The only thing I can remember saying was ow!” 

Brown says she had just passed a man and woman and stopped to pet their dog. 

When the homeless man attacked her, the dog’s owner shouted at him to go away. She says her attacker went to a pile of belongings on the ground and started packing up his red cart. 

The couple helped Brown escape and she managed to get pictures of the man. She provided police the pictures of him and his red cart. Not a grocery cart, but a child’s push toy with the number 5 on it. 

Brown says she was bleeding and didn’t need stitches. But she did have to get a CT Scan and a tetanus shot. Brown showed CBS 8 the knot on the back of her head. 

“Today was the first day I was able to wash my hair so I kind of have a headache now today," Brown said.

Earlier this week, CBS 8 covered the problems in Ocean Beach caused by homeless people and others hanging out on the sidewalks day and night and causing violent trouble. 

CBS 8 spoke with Ocean Beach City Councilmember Jennifer Campbell’s Chief of Staff Venus Molina. Molina says the city has been focused on “compassion enforcement”. Molina says “homeless people are highly protected” but because of the situations all throughout the beach communities, her office has been asking for more enforcement, more officers, and getting people actually taken off the street. 

We reached out to Mayor Todd Gloria’s office and the San Diego Police Department to get more information about compassion enforcement and about homeless people being highly protected, but both offices didn't respond at the time of this story was published.

When CBS 8 told Brown about the city's focus, she says, “That is ridiculous. This has forever changed my perception of homeless people in San Diego. Even this morning I altered my dog walk because there was a homeless man lying in the street muttering to himself. Before it was kind of like, ‘oh man I hope these people get the help they need’. Now it’s like ‘stay away from me. Don’t come near me.”

WATCH RELATED: Ocean Beach community concerned with SDPD's response amid homeless acts of violence (Nov. 2022).



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