I’m both disheartened and livid that James, a senior leader in our community, advocate for our children and activist, was viciously attacked today. James, lovingly known as Uncle stank, was simply trying to keep transients from standing around the center in an attempt to protect both the staff and children occupying the building. In creating this Go Fund Me the goal is to allow James to recover physically, emotionally and without the stressors and worries of finances. It will also help with medical expenses, time off and funding for building security as the area is impacted by homelessness, violence and drugs. Both Sides of the Conversation has made a donation of $10,000 with the hope that all who can too donate, will also do so. Please keep James as well as his family in your thoughts and prayers.
Fillmore District Nonprofit Executive Beaten in Attack Outside of Center
The director of a non-profit organization in the Fillmore District was assaulted Friday morning outside of the organization’s doors.
James Spingola, executive director of the Ella Hill Hutch Community Center and a juvenile probation commissioner for the city, was reportedly beaten by two men after he asked them to move away from the center’s front doors, San Francisco NAACP President Rev. Amos Brown said in a press release.
In a statement, SFPD said Spingola had been struck multiple times with a wooden object and physically assaulted by the suspects before 11 a.m. He was transported to a local hospital with non-life threatening injuries, according to the release.
Officers located one suspect, who was also transported to a local hospital and has not yet been booked. He has also not yet been positively identified, police said. The second suspect was not found, they added.
The Ella Hill Hutch Community Center, where Spingola was beaten, is located at 1050 McAllister Street.
“It’s a tragedy,” said Rev. Arnold Townsend, the vice president of the San Francisco NAACP. “We’re praying mightily right now for his recovery.”
Through his work at Ella Hill Hutch Community Center — whose namesake was the first Black woman to be elected to the city’s Board of Supervisors — Spingola, known affectionately as “Uncle Stank,” has been carrying on the legacy of the figures who helped open the community center’s doors more than 30 years ago, Townsend said.
“The center played a pivotal role during the pandemic,” said Townsend, noting that it has been a COVID-19 testing center throughout the crisis, as well as a community space for the Western Addition as a whole. “If it had not been for people like him and others, (COVID) would have gotten tremendously out of hand in our communities.”