bearspray.jpgA man who was sprayed with bear spray by a resident when he allegedly tried to steal a package from her home in San Francisco’s Noe Valley neighborhood on Tuesday pleaded not guilty today to residential burglary charges.

Andy Anduha, 51, was arrested Tuesday afternoon and charged with first-degree residential burglary for the incident in the 3600 block of 22nd Street, which is near Church Street.

Officers were in the area shortly before 2 p.m. Tuesday and were flagged down by a resident who said a suspect went through the front gate of her home and stole a package from the porch, police spokesman Officer Albie Esparza said.

The resident used the bear spray on the suspect, later identified as Anduha, who fled but was quickly taken into custody a block away on 23rd Street, Esparza said.

Anduha had to be treated in an ambulance because of the bear spray, Esparza said.

Sonya Yu, the resident armed with the bear spray, wrote about the incident on Twitter as it was happening that afternoon.

Yu wrote that a thief has been “rampantly stealing packages in our neighborhood. I put out a bait package today and will be quietly working.”

A couple of hours later, she wrote, “I got him with the bear spray but he escaped.”

Shortly afterward, she said the alleged thief had been taken into custody by police.

“The bear spray debilitated him and painted him orange so other cops picked him up within 5 minutes. GOT HIM!” Yu wrote.

Yu later wrote on Twitter that she did not want to talk to the media about the incident, citing the active investigation into the case.

Anduha’s attorney, Deputy Public Defender Paul Myslin, argued in court today that his client should be released on his own recognizance in what he said was a case of “vigilantism” on the part of the resident.

“It was a fake package, put there specifically there with the intent to entrap Mr. Anduha,” Myslin said. “She took the law into her own hands rather than follow the proper procedures.”

San Francisco Superior Court Judge Nancy Davis was not swayed by the attorney’s arguments and ordered that Anduha be held on $150,000 bail.

He will return to court on Dec. 12 for a preliminary hearing.

Esparza said despite this case leading to an arrest, police do not encourage people to confront possible criminals themselves.

“We suggest calling 911 and keeping a distance,” he said. “You never know if they could inflict injury on you.”

Dan McMenamin, Bay City News

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  • Greg Dewar

    this joker is a repeat offender and a convict who was seen many time stealing stuff from Ms. Yu’s home and others. Dumbass finally got caught thanks to her efforts. He deserves no sympathy and I hope that SF goes against the grain and actually convicts this loser and sends him to jail (although with a convict running the jail, maybe that’d be coddling him)

  • Greg Dewar

    this joker is a repeat offender and a convict who was seen many time stealing stuff from Ms. Yu’s home and others. Dumbass finally got caught thanks to her efforts. He deserves no sympathy and I hope that SF goes against the grain and actually convicts this loser and sends him to jail (although with a convict running the jail, maybe that’d be coddling him)

  • Able Dart

    You don’t use a weapon on someone who is running away or is taking property. Period. If this guy had broken into her home I would have no problem with her shooting him dead, but this is different. She could have used her phone camera.

    She should really be prosecuted for this, just as the sleaze should be prosecuted for theft. But more likely, both will get off, because both now have gained sympathy from different but similarly irrational corners.

    Ultimately, there are two problems here: the prevalence of so-called “less lethal” weapons like pepper spray and tasers among police and consumers, and our retired-on-the-job police force.

    “less lethal” devices are essentially control tools which should have limited use by police only. Instead they are used liberally because they are advertised as “non-lethal.” They often fail to stop determined attackers in the fury of a fight, but often end up unintentionally killing people after the fight is over or used to deter people from nuisance activity as seen here. The legal threshold for using force apart from bare hands on someone is, and should be, very high, and the most practical tools at that level are, and have always been, blunt instruments, blades, and bullets.

    Meanwhile, SFPD is composed mainly of feckless fifty year olds who are overpaid and retired on the job. This despite our having two fairly good Chiefs in a row. I cannot tell you you how many times I have seen cases of assault “dismissed in the field” by lazy cops as “mutual combat”. Charging of all police reports should be evaluated by the DA. And the snakes need to be rooted out of the POA, and we need younger, stronger, and better trained cops.

    Until these measures are taken, public safety in San Francisco will continue to be a problem, as what are essentially nuisances are routinely allowed to escalate into incidents which injure and kill.

  • Able Dart

    You don’t use a weapon on someone who is running away or is taking property. Period. If this guy had broken into her home I would have no problem with her shooting him dead, but this is different. She could have used her phone camera.

    She should really be prosecuted for this, just as the sleaze should be prosecuted for theft. But more likely, both will get off, because both now have gained sympathy from different but similarly irrational corners.

    Ultimately, there are two problems here: the prevalence of so-called “less lethal” weapons like pepper spray and tasers among police and consumers, and our retired-on-the-job police force.

    “less lethal” devices are essentially control tools which should have limited use by police only. Instead they are used liberally because they are advertised as “non-lethal.” They often fail to stop determined attackers in the fury of a fight, but often end up unintentionally killing people after the fight is over or used to deter people from nuisance activity as seen here. The legal threshold for using force apart from bare hands on someone is, and should be, very high, and the most practical tools at that level are, and have always been, blunt instruments, blades, and bullets.

    Meanwhile, SFPD is composed mainly of feckless fifty year olds who are overpaid and retired on the job. This despite our having two fairly good Chiefs in a row. I cannot tell you you how many times I have seen cases of assault “dismissed in the field” by lazy cops as “mutual combat”. Charging of all police reports should be evaluated by the DA. And the snakes need to be rooted out of the POA, and we need younger, stronger, and better trained cops.

    Until these measures are taken, public safety in San Francisco will continue to be a problem, as what are essentially nuisances are routinely allowed to escalate into incidents which injure and kill.

  • BigPenIs mighteir than the sword

    I’m glad that bear got a lawyer, but the lawyer should know better than to spray suspects.

  • BigPenIs mighteir than the sword

    I’m glad that bear got a lawyer, but the lawyer should know better than to spray suspects.