SAN FRANCISCO – A San Francisco swimmer is in the hospital after he was badly beaten by carjackers Friday morning.
San Francisco police said he was attacked by two unknown suspects after he parked his car at Hyde and Beach Streets. Police and paramedics responded just before 6:00 on Friday morning, and found the victim injured. He was taken to the hospital.
The victim was identified by family and friends as Andrew Cotter, a well-known swimmer at the South End Rowing Club who frequently volunteers at the club.
Members at the Club received an email notifying them of the attack, which read, one of their members was “”badly beaten after parking his car… and he was robbed and his car was stolen.”
“I am shocked that this happened,” said club member Christian Einfeldt.
Joyce Shanahan, another swimmer at the club, arrived just after the attack. “I was walking in from the museum parking and I just saw a bunch of police cars,” she said. “I didn’t think much of it until I heard what happened.”
“He was trying to hold his face together,” she added.
Other club members came to his aid.
“It’s really a tragedy because he’s a great volunteer for the south end rowing club, he’s very kind, he never has a bad word for anyone and he’s one of the fastest swimmers in the south end rowing club, which really says a lot,” said Einfeldt.
Swimmers at both the South End Rowing Club and the Dolphin Club often arrive in the early morning hours for a swim.
“We start out with blinkers when we swim because it’s dark,” said Shanahan. “I’m hoping the police will take this seriously and do a little patrolling.”
The Club announced they would be hosting a public safety meeting with police for their members in the near future.
Andrew’s father, Tom Cotter, told KTVU that Andrew is going to be okay, but he would be needing surgery for injuries to his face.
In the meantime, the swimming community has started a GoFundMe to help Andrew cover medical expenses in his recovery.
“Andrew, if you’re seeing this, I hope you get well soon. We miss you and we really love you,” said Einfeldt.
SFPD said no arrests have been made at this time. Anyone with information is asked to call the SFPD Tip Line at 1-415-575-4444 or Text a Tip to TIP411 and begin the text message with SFPD. You may remain anonymous.