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South Beach attack suspect being held without bail

A homeless man accused of attacking a woman outside her apartment building in San Francisco’s South Beach neighborhood last month will be held on all charges, a judge ruled Tuesday.

Austin Vincent, 25, has been charged with battery, false imprisonment and attempted residential burglary for the early morning Aug. 11 attack at the Watermark Building, located at 501 Beale St.

According to prosecutors, on Tuesday the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office added a new charge: making criminal threats. Vincent remains jailed and is being held without bail.

Days after the attack, Judge Christine Van Aken received backlash for agreeing to release Vincent from custody on the condition that he enrolls in treatment and finds temporary housing.

San Francisco Police Department Austin James Vincent was arrested on suspicion of attacking a woman outside a condominium building on Beale Street August 11, 2019.

However, when new charges related to a separate February attack were filed against Vincent late last month, he was remanded back into custody. Vincent’s attorney, Deputy Public Defender Saleem Belbahri, however, was able to prove that Vincent was not involved in the February attack because, at the time, he was in a facility in Huntington Beach in Southern California receiving substance abuse treatment.

Judge Ross Moody ultimately dismissed the charges from the February incident–assault and criminal threats–but ruled to keep Vincent jailed without bail, citing a previous menacing charge in New York involving a weapon.

In the August attack, Vincent allegedly pushed, dragged and threatened to kill victim Paneez Kosarian as she tried to enter her apartment building. The attack, which received widespread news coverage, was caught on surveillance video.

San Francisco Public Defender's Office Austin James Vincent is named as the suspect in a violent attack on Paneez Kosarian outside her condo building on Beale Street in San Francisco, Calif. August, 12, 2019. The San Francisco Public Defender’s Office said he is complying with all terms of his release pending trial, including GPS monitoring.

Kosarian, an immigrant from Iran, has said that since the incident, she’s afraid to leave her apartment and has constant nightmares. Belbahri has said that Vincent was having a mental health crisis at the time he allegedly attacked Kosarian, but upon his initial release, he had become a “model candidate” for the case management release program. Vincent is due back in court Oct. 1.

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