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Photo: Man shooting up in San Diego beach bathroom stirs controversy

Photographer says SDPD not doing enough
Posted at 9:35 PM, Jul 27, 2018

SAN DIEGO - Brandon Percoco spent his Sunday afternoon in the surf and sand at Pacific Beach.  Before leaving, he decided to stop off at the public restroom to rinse off his feet. That's when he got a big surprise.

He saw two men sitting inside the restroom injecting something into their arms with hypodermic needles.

"I can't believe what I saw," said Percoco.  "I'm like are you f-ing kidding me right now?"

Percoco said one of the men even gave himself injections in both arms.  

Neither man said a word as Percoco pulled out his cell phone and began taking pictures.  He posted the photos on Facebook.

Percoco said he saw several police officers patrolling the beach and writing tickets for scooter violations.  He wants to know why they weren't patrolling the men's bathroom to keep drug users out.

"It shouldn't be my problem. They should know about it. They should be handling it," he said.

 Sgt. Bryan Brecht of the San Diego Police Department said he wished Percoco would've reported the incident so officers could investigate.  If the men had illegal drugs in their possession, he said it is likely they would have been arrested.

Brecht said officers see lots of drug problems in the beach areas but he's never heard a report of someone injecting drugs in a public bathroom on a busy summer day.

"We do have a significant homeless population in the beach community. They use the bathrooms and I imagine a lot of them do have substance abuse issues," Brecht added.

Dr. Ray Oshtory and his 5-year-old son, Enzo, used the same public showers where Percoco saw the drug use.  Dr. Oshtory called the images "disturbing" but added that he's part of a group researching safe injection sites in San Francisco.

"I think that's something that could potentially remedy a situation like this," Oshtory said.