Woman speaks out after being attacked from behind at SF corner store

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By Yosi Yahoudai
Founder and Managing Partner

A San Francisco woman is speaking out after she says another woman attacked her from behind while making a stop at a Potrero Hill neighborhood corner store.

The incident happened Tuesday afternoon and it was caught on camera.

Surveillance video showed Kate Ryken walking into the Kansas Food Market as she waved to the store owner. That’s when a woman in a pink sweatshirt comes in and grabbed Ryken’s hair from behind.

The woman was slamming Ryken with a bag onto her head and began her assault. Ryken spoke to NBC Bay Area about the incident on Thursday.

“I was hit over the head with a plastic bag that had glass bottles in it and then, she just immediately started punching me in the head,” she said. “I’m not sure how many times. I had no clue what was going on.”

The whole thing Ryken said she never saw coming lasted fewer than 10 seconds, ending when the store owner stepped in and tossed the woman out.

Video showed Ryken laying on the ground. She was wondering who and why, when she said she had no interaction with anyone outside.

“When it happened on Tuesday afternoon, afterwards, I was just in complete and total shock,” she said. “Yesterday, I was crazy angry and today, I’m just completely overwhelmed. So we’ll see what tomorrow brings.”

On Thursday, the woman, later identified as Jessica Blazee, pleaded not guilty at an arraignment. The San Francisco District Attorney’s Office charged the 26-year-old with two counts of assault.

Blazee was arrested while the San Francisco Police Department was on scene. NBC Bay Area learned on Thursday that Blazee is also being held on a parole violation.

San Francisco District attorney Brooke Jenkins said in a statement that “it is random acts of violence like this that negatively impact a feeling of safety.”

Jenkins added that her office is committed to “ensuring that we have appropriate accountability for those who commit crimes.”

Ryken said the entire ordeal made her feel a just little uneasy about her long time neighborhood. But not enough to scare her away from her favorite corner store and the owner who she said has become like family.

“I’ve never experienced anything like that before,” Ryken said. “He’s amazing. He’s my hero but before the other day, he’s always been my hero. He’s like the nicest person alive.”

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About the Author
Yosi Yahoudai is a founder and the managing partner of J&Y. His practice is comprised primarily of cases involving automobile and motorcycle accidents, but he also represents people in premises liability lawsuits, including suits alleging dangerous conditions of public property, third-party criminal conduct, and intentional torts. He also has expertise in cases involving product defects, dog bites, elder abuse, and sexual assault. He earned his Bachelor of Arts from the University of California and is admitted to practice in all California State Courts, and the United States District Court for the Southern District of California. If you have any questions about this article, you can contact Yosi by clicking here.