Suspect released despite shocking video of attack on woman outside San Francisco building

Lyanne Melendez Image
Thursday, August 15, 2019
Suspect released after being charged in attack of SF woman
EMBED <>More Videos

Austin James Vincent, the man accused of attacking a woman outside her San Francisco apartment building, has been released.

SAN FRANCISCO -- Shocking surveillance video shows a homeless man attacking a woman outside her apartment building in San Francisco, repeatedly attempting to drag her away despite another person's intervention.

Now a judge has released the suspect from custody while he awaits trial, ordering him into a pretrial diversion program.

The victim of the attack is outraged and frightened.

"I started crying and I could not continue the conversation," said Paneez Kosarian who was notified by the District Attorney's office following the release of Austin James Vincent, the man who attacked her.

Video shows Kosarian trying to get through the front door of her building, when Vincent, believed to be homeless, grabs her, pulling her away from the door and onto the ground. He continues to grab her.

She finally crawls inside. It ends as she and the person at the front desk try to keep him out.

Vincent was arrested and charged with battery, false imprisonment and second-degree robbery. He appeared in court for the first time on Tuesday.

The District Attorney's Office said: "Prosecutors expressed concerns about his release. Ultimately, the court released him on assertive case management."

Vincent walked away even after the judge read the police report, the public safety assessment - and watched the video.

"The judge has seen the video. She still thinks that this man is OK to be on the streets," she said.

The judge ordered Vincent enrolled in a program with assertive case management which falls under the jurisdiction of the San Francisco Pretrial Diversion Project.

David Mauroff, CEO of the San Francisco Pretrial Diversion Project, said, "They're looking at the police report, they're in the courtroom with the client, they are listening to the D.A., public defender."

"A criminal was released. He is free, I'm not. I'm in prison in my own house," said Kosarian.

The judge also ordered Vincent to stay away from the victim.

He will be back in court Sept. 12 for a pretrial hearing. All parties are hoping he will show up.