Joseph Adam Moore is back exactly where he was when the San Francisco Police Department arrested him a few days ago.
Moore, a registered sex offender, became notorious after posting signs in front of his encampment offering drugs near a school and was arrested Friday for allegedly creating a public nuisance after refusing orders from police to leave.
Local residents said they were outraged that Moore was released and then returned to the area.
Derek Lee said he has seen Moore camped at Geary Boulevard and Ninth Avenue for between four and five years.
“I mean, he’s a registered sex offender, and he’s living near a school,” Lee said. “He’s got to go.”
Anuraag Jhawar, who lives one block from where Moore is camped, said he didn’t have much of an issue with Moore living in the area until he saw news reports about him.
“Day to day, there hasn’t been a negative interaction,” Jhawar said. “But once the signage went up and with him being a sex offender, that’s not great.”
California’s Megan’s Law website lists Moore as a San Francisco transient convicted in 1997 of lewd or lascivious acts with a child under 14 years of age and released in 2002. San Francisco Superior Court documents show Moore has been arrested five times in the city since 2007 for allegedly failing to re-register his address as a sex offender every 30 days.
A Santa Cruz Sentinel article from 1997 reports Moore was convicted of molesting a 12-year-old girl in Santa Clara County before being released from custody and then having sex with a 15-year-old in Santa Cruz behind a set of bathrooms on Seabright Beach.
According to ABC7, Moore does not need to stay 2,000 feet away from schools as part of his conviction because he is not deemed a high-risk offender.
When The Standard spoke with Moore Monday, he called the conviction “total bogus.”
Moore, who said he has “severe autism,” told The Standard he returned to the area because his condition makes changes to routine and to his living situation difficult, and because he wants to help homeless people in the area.
“I’ve been all over the city,” he said.“I just like the neighborhood. The people here are nice. I just like it.”
Moore said he did not accept a shelter bed offered to him at the time of his arrest because of restrictions on when those staying there and because he “does not like being inside.”
“You could call it jail, and it’d be no different,” Moore said.
Moore said he was taken to San Francisco General Hospital after his arrest and released later that afternoon. Moore said he was back on the block of Ninth Avenue and Geary Boulevard by Saturday morning. Moore said he placed his belongings in a wagon he parked next to some bike racks near the 10th Avenue entrance of a San Francisco Public Library branch.
Moore, who faced severe backlash after he posted signs offering drugs for new users outside his encampment, did not dismiss the possibility of posting similar signs again and said he is in the process of selling the original signs.
“Depending on the terms of the sale of the current artwork, I might agree to never make another sign like those again if that’s what the purchaser pays for,” Moore said. “But all of that money will go to helping homeless people, not for my own benefit.”
Moore said he has been threatened three times since his return, with those threatening him demanding that he leave. But amid community outrage aimed at Moore, others have come to his defense.
“I’ve met Adam doing outreach on the street & he was cool as fuck,” said an X user by the handle @SROMartha Stewart. “He was doing mutual aid setting up showers for people living on the street & other services.”
The San Francisco Homeless Tenants Union also retweeted @SROMarthaStewart, saying “solidarity with all homeless people who have to deal with this city's incessant harassment and demonization.”
Homeless people living nearby told The Standard Moore had helped them in the past.
Jason Ayers said Moore helped him charge his phone, and another homeless man, who identified himself as “Cowboy,” said he had handed him socks and a pair of pants in the past.
“We all help each other out here,” Cowboy said.
In response to Moore’s return, the Archdiocese of San Francisco said it is looking into getting a restraining order against him but did not elaborate on where exactly they want him to stay away from, or how far away.
“We want to make sure the children and the families feel safe—that’s the goal,” archdiocese spokesperson Peter Marlow said.
Supervisor Connie Chan, who represents the Richmond District, said her office is working with police to ensure the neighborhood’s safety.
“I share our community’s frustration, and I thank the Richmond for their patience and trust,” Chan said. “While the results are not always immediate, we will keep at it until the work is done, and in this case, it is no different. We will continue to work with [San Francisco Police Capt. Christopher] Canning, and I trust that he and his team will do all they can to keep the Richmond District safe.”
The San Francisco Department of Public Works, San Francisco Police Department and city Department of Public Health, which runs San Francisco General Hospital, did not respond to requests for comment.
Garrett Leahy can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org