San Francisco police are currently launching an investigation and are looking for the person or persons who chained wood and metal baseball bats to telephone poles and parking meters throughout the city on Thursday.
Initially, police said they had found approximately 15 bats, but by Friday afternoon, Sgt. Michael Andraychak said the number was at 27. A lot of these bats had nails protruding out of them.
The San Francisco police said they started receiving reports that people were finding the bats on Thanksgiving morning. The bats are metal and wood and have “spikes” run through them.
Andraychak said he’s never seen anything quite like this and he’s been involved in law enforcement for 20 years. He said it was “odd.”
“It’s also San Francisco. Nothing tends to surprise me anymore,” Andraychak said.
The most recent discovery of the bats was in the Fisherman’s’ Wharf area of San Francisco on Friday morning.
Andraychak said they do not know who placed the bats around the city or why they did it. He described the episode as “very strange” and said they are currently investigating all the different aspects of the incident.
Denise Chew, who lives in San Francisco, stepped out of an optometrist office on Mission Street near Rolph Street and found a bat chained to a parking meter.
“This is really odd. I’m kind of speechless about it,” said Chew. “It’s pretty bizarre and it’s weird that there’s so many all over the city, but at least they’re not going around swinging at people.”
SFPD say so far, there have been no reports of injuries.
ABC7 News viewer Gerrie Burke alerted the police about the bat he found and snapped a picture.
“There were bolts in this thing. They had drill holes in it. They knew what they were doing. This was not put together in an hour,” he said.
Estella Cirilo, who works in a nearby botanic said that vandals have targeted her business in the past and she fears that this might be the same thing.
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“That’s intimidation because when people see something like that, our customers, they don’t want to come inside,” said Cirilo.
The bomb squad was called to the scene when police thought that one of the bats that had a square metal plate looked like a pipe bomb. After examining the bat, the bomb squad found no bomb in it and eventually cleared it.
“We thought it was possibly an explosive device. We evacuated the area,” said San Francisco police Lt. Nick Rainsford.
Officers are stumped as to why the bats appeared. There is no immediate pattern or reasonable explanation, they say.
Police say that someone called them about the baseball bat that was chained to a pole at 19th Avenue and Buckingham Way. They said the bat was sawed off with a square piece of metal attached to it.
“This was kind of an anonymous call. It was a little different from the rest,” Rainsford said.
“Art project, freak people out, or a promotion or something,” Burke said.
There is some online forums that show people how to make similar bats. The bats are used in movies and video games that feature zombies. Police are trying to figure out whether the bats were made to be used as real weapons or just props.
“It’s not a really funny joke it’s a big waste of police resources,” Rainsford said.
The bats are being taken as evidence. Barring the zombie apocalypse, the person responsible could face charges.
Posession of one of these bats is considered carrying a deadly weapon according to SFPD. Police said at this point they are interested in the motive behind the bats, whether it be art, humor, or something more malicious.
[Photo by Pablo Diaz-Gutierrez via AP]