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Caught on camera dumping dead rats—and more from this week in snitching

An illustration shows a silhouetted person speaking on the phone while a cat stands nearby.
Source: AI Illustration by Clark Miller for The Standard

Welcome back to Snitch City. You know the drill by now: Snitch on your neighbors who are snitchin’ on others in the box below.

As connoisseurs of snitching, we love rats but only the metaphorical kind. The real ones are gross and bad. 

So it was with mixed feelings that we watched a video from the South Bernal Nextdoor page that the poster claimed shows an elderly man dumping dead rats from a bag by a tree outside someone’s home. Killing a bunch of rats? A public service, potentially. Depositing them outside someone else’s home? Not very neighborly. 

That was the opinion of Veronica Davis, who posted the videos. In one video, Davis can be seen confronting the man as he is carrying a white garbage bag. That’s about all that can be seen. It’s too grainy to make out any dead rats, the dialogue is muffled, and the man goes behind a tree, making it impossible to see if he leaves anything behind. In another video, the man can be seen tossing a bag toward the tree, but there’s no way to tell what’s inside it.

Davis told The Standard that the man left three bags with “several” dead rats stuck to sticky traps outside her 89-year-old mother’s home on Gilman Avenue between Ingalls and Hawes streets in the Bayview between April and Memorial Day. The bags would appear outside the home sporadically, a few weeks apart.

“They were full and stinking,” Davis said. “You could walk down the street and smell them.”

Davis said she has filed two reports with the Department of Public Health and called police twice, most recently on Tuesday. When police responded, Davis said she overheard the man tell officers that the rats came from his home. Now, she’s demanding the health department inspect the man’s home and abate the infestation.

“This was just very strange,” Davis said. “It’s a shame people act this way in a civilized society.”

Doorbell camera video shows a man allegedly leaving bags of dead rats next to a tree outside Veronica Davis' mother's home. | Source: Courtesy Veronica Davis

On Friday, The Standard visited the man’s home and showed him two videos of the rat dumper posted to Nextdoor.

After seeing the videos, the man, who we learned is 80-year-old Liang Qing Hu, admitted to dumping the dead rats but said through an interpreter over the phone that he only dumped one bag of the deceased rodents. Liang said he left the bag in front of a telephone pole outside his house, which is roughly 50 feet west of the tree in front of Davis’ mother’s home, two days prior so Recology could dispose of the dead rodents. Liang said he has since used rat poison to kill the rats infesting his home and will put any rats he kills in the future into his own garbage can.

The San Francisco Police Department said it could not locate a call for service Tuesday in that area. DPH said in an email that it received one complaint on Thursday and is investigating.

One entity that does seem to have taken action is Nextdoor, which, Davis said, deleted her post at some point after commenters started speculating that the man was using the rats to poison local dogs. Davis said she was told the post violated the platform’s rules against public shaming. Nextdoor declined to comment, citing privacy concerns over commenting on individual cases.

A porch is not a litterbox

The sour tang of urine is, regrettably, a familiar smell on our city’s streets, and most of us count ourselves lucky when it’s not the human kind. But one homeowner in Bernal has had enough, taking to the Bernalwood Facebook group to complain about a cutesy-looking cat that loves to pee on her doorstep.

“No matter how much I work to clean it and clear the scent from my house, he keeps coming back and undoing my work,” the post reads before threatening: “If this [is] not anyone’s cat, does anyone know who to call to trap/neuter/release?”

A Facebook post is seen in a photo.
A photo of a post on the Bernalwood Facebook group is about a cat that keeps stinking up her house by peeing on her home's cat door. | Source: Garrett Leahy/The Standard

A neighbor commented that she did not “know the cat” (Can you ever truly know a cat?) but wished her luck in finding a solution that was not too “onerous.”

Castration sounds pretty darn onerous to us! Mr. Whiskers, if you’re reading this, save your walnuts and go find a pile of dead rats to wee on instead. 

Someone else’s gopher problem

Training a gimlet eye on one’s neighbor’s lawn is a homeowners’ association classic. So it’s fitting that it was on the outskirts of St. Francis Wood, the first neighborhood in California to adopt an HOA, that a concerned citizen, channeling Bill Murray in “Caddyshack,” took to 311 to report the presence of gophers in someone else’s yard. 

The Standard visited the home on San Benito Way, which is technically in Balboa Terrace, and did indeed find what could be evidence of the pesky rodents. The extreme consequences of such a plague can include lawn damage, holes that present tripping hazards, and a crazed groundskeeper filling your yard with explosives.

We salute you X user @hellobois84, for your 311 alert, which read: “There are gophers in the lawn of [redacted] San Benito Way. Could you please make a report? Thanks.”

Sadly, no one was home at the afflicted address to confirm or deny the existence of a gopher problem. Stand down for now, Carl Spackler.