78-year-old teacher assaulted in Mission District, suspect arrested

1 min read

A 78-year-old woman was assaulted in San Francisco’s Mission District. 

According to San Francisco Police Department, on February 10, around 8 a.m., Yolanda Melara, 78, a teacher at MNC Inspiring Success Head Start Program was walking with a cane when the suspect kicked her cane, causing Melara to fall to the ground. 

The suspect fled the scene after the assault and the victim was hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries.

Press release says that Melara was attacked unprovoked as she was walking to work. 

Police reviewed surveillance footage of the incident and found the suspect around 1:39 p.m. the same day on the 300 block of Van Ness Avenue. 

The suspect was identified as Steven Briar, 47. 

“The way that this city has treated this neighborhood is extremely ridiculous,” said Ryen Motzek, the president of the Mission Merchants Association. “It’s also unfair, pathetic, shameful and a damn embarrassment, and it certainly, 100%, without a doubt feels like it’s by design.”

Briar was booked into jail for battery with serious injuries, elder abuse, and resisting arrest.


Charlene is a Bay Area journalist who hails from the small community of Fresno. Drawing from her experience writing for her college paper, Charlene continues to advocate for free press and local journalism. She also volunteers in all the beach cleanups she can because she loves the water.