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Woman assaulted in unprovoked attack inside Potrero Hill corner store, video shows

A still from surveillance video shows a woman being attacked by another woman inside a store.
A still from surveillance video shows Kate Ryken being attacked by a woman inside a store Tuesday. | Source: Courtesy Kate Ryken

A suspect approached a woman from behind and started beating her head inside a corner store in San Francisco's Potrero Hill neighborhood on Tuesday, according to the victim and video reviewed by The Standard.

Kate Ryken, 45, said she was buying a bag of chips at Kansas Food Market, located at the corner of 23rd and Kansas streets, just before 2 p.m. when she felt blows to the back of her head. Ryken said the attack left bruises all over her scalp and that the assailant pulled out some of her hair.

“She just started hitting me in the head,” Ryken told The Standard. “I was sneak-attacked.”

Kate Ryken was attacked while buying food at a store on the corner of 23rd and Kansas streets on Tuesday. | Source: Courtesy Kate Ryken

Surveillance video of the incident shows a woman entering the store and then striking Ryken's head with a pink bag. The woman then repeatedly punches Ryken in the head with her fists.

The woman continues to pummel Ryken as she falls to the ground until a cashier pulls the woman away from her and physically removes her from the store.

Ryken said a bottle of liquor was inside the attacker's bag.

“It was a bottle of Jack Daniel’s,” she said.

Ryken said she saw a hospital wristband on the assailant’s arm. Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital is located a few blocks away from the store. The hospital did not immediately respond to The Standard's request for comment on Wednesday night.

Store employees, including a manager, declined to comment.

A woman stands in front of a window.
Kate Ryken says she was attacked from behind Tuesday while getting a bag of chips from her local corner store in Potrero Hill. | Source: Garrett Leahy/The Standard
A corner store is seen in a photo.
The attack happened inside Kansas Food Market on Tuesday afternoon, Ryken said. | Source: Garrett Leahy/The Standard

Ryken said police identified her suspected assailant as 26-year-old Jessica Blazee. Blazee was booked at the San Francisco County Jail on suspicion of assault with force likely to commit great bodily injury and for a parole violation at 4 p.m. Tuesday, according to online booking records.

“Yesterday, I was numb. Now I'm angry,” Ryken said. “I want this woman to be prosecuted for felony assault.”

On Thursday, San Francisco District Attorney Brooke Jenkins announced that her office was charging Blazee with assault with a deadly weapon and assault with force likely to cause great bodily injury.

“It is random acts of violence like this that negatively impact a feeling of safety in communities,” Jenkins said in a statement. “My office is committed to ensuring that we have appropriate accountability for those who commit crime in our city and will continue to work hard to restore safety across all communities.”

The DA’s Office confirmed Ryken's report and said Blazee, who lives in Oakland, was arrested by police a short distance from the corner store.

Blazee is due to be arraigned Thursday afternoon. Prosecutors are asking that she be detained until her trial, saying she poses a public safety risk.

The San Francisco Police Department did not respond to requests for comment.