Skip to main content

Here’s the cost to repair San Francisco Muni vehicles damaged in ‘Hill Bomb’

A graffiti-covered tram at night, with colorful tags and scribbles obscuring its windows and surface.
Graffiti covers a Muni light-rail train on Saturday, July 8 after the Dolores 'Hill Bomb' skateboarding event. | Source: Courtesy San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency

Vandalism of Muni buses and light-rail train cars during the annual Dolores Park "Hill Bomb" skateboarding event will cost the city roughly $70,000 and put multiple vehicles out of service for five days, the city's transit agency spokesperson Stephen Chun said Tuesday.

Past "Hill Bomb" events near Dolores Park have resulted in vandalism, serious injuries and even a fatal collision, but none of them saw a show of police force close to that seen Saturday.

At Saturday's "Hill Bomb," police clad in riot gear and armed with bean-bag guns arrested more than 110 people, including 81 teenagers. Police arrested and detained people for hours after fireworks and other projectiles were launched at officers and vandalism halted public transit operations in the area.

Graffiti covers a Muni light-rail train car on Saturday. The vandalism happened during the Dolores 'Hill Bomb' skateboarding event in San Francisco. | Source: Courtesy San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency

“In San Francisco, we welcome public events that are conducted safely. This event was not that,” Mayor London Breed’s Office said in a statement. “People assaulted police officers, set fires, and vandalized property, including Muni vehicles.”

READ MORE: San Francisco ‘Hill Bomb’ Arrests: Heavy-Handed or a Welcome Show of Force?

Police Chief Bill Scott told The Standard that the goal of the "Hill Bomb" operation was to prevent skateboarders from taking control of Dolores Street to ensure public safety—not to make mass arrests. He described the annual skateboarding event as a growing issue that has “terrified” neighbors in recent years. 

San Francisco police in riot gear form a line on Dolores Street at 19th Street during the unsanctioned annual skateboarding "Hill Bomb" by Dolores Park in San Francisco on July 8. | Source: Kyle Martin for The Standard

The arrests drew criticism from local officials, who said police were needlessly forceful.

"I’m at a loss to explain this abuse of power, waste of money, and trauma inflicted on our young people," Supervisor Dean Preston said in a tweet.

Supervisor Rafael Mandelman, whose district includes Dolores Park, said in an interview with The Standard that the Hill Bomb is a “problematic event,” and he didn't have any qualms with the police response, noting that the lone injury reported came from an officer who was spit upon and suffered facial lacerations.

“I think it just shows the San Francisco Police Department is damned if it does and damned if it doesn’t,” Mandelman said.

For others, the show of police in riot gear prompted questions about whether officers present in tactical gear actually escalated the situation.

“We can’t have a situation where people are spitting at officers or swinging at officers,” said Police Commissioner Kevin Benedicto. “But when you are putting 50 officers in proximity to them, it’s increasing the chances that something like that is going to happen.”

A man with a bullhorn yells during a protest in San Francisco.
Tatum Wymer speaks into a megaphone during a protest on Sunday against the SFPD’s "Hill Bomb" operations the day before. | Source: Juliana Yamada for The Standard

Dozens of people gathered Sunday evening at Clarion Alley near the Mission Police Station to protest the police action at Saturday's "Hill Bomb" event, carrying signs with slogans including “no justice, no peace, queer liberation not police occupation” and “housing now, SFPD never."

Garrett Leahy can be reached at
George Kelly can be reached at

Filed Under