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Man Climbs on Castro Theatre Sign to Strip, Masturbate & Vandalize Historic Marquee

Thursday September 2, 2021

Wiliam Quezali on the roof of the Castro Theatre.
Wiliam Quezali on the roof of the Castro Theatre.  (Source:Facebook)

A man climbed onto the marquee of the landmark Castro Theatre Tuesday where he stripped naked, masturbated, damaged the neon lights on the marquee and created a stir for 90-minutes before being removed.

"Wiliam Quezali, 33, was booked into San Francisco County Jail for three counts of vandalism and trespassing, according to Officer Robert Rueca, a public information officer with the San Francisco Police Department," reports the Bay Area Reporter.

He also was said to throw cinder blocks off the roof. "He was masturbating before that," one eyewitness told SFist, "as several bystanders confirmed that he got naked shortly after climbing to the theater's roof."

"The sheer strangeness started at about 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, when the unnamed man somehow scaled to the top of the Castro Theatre marquee, then climbed the letters to reach the roof."

"Castro Street is closed today for some weird excitement," Mark Abramson wrote on Facebook. "One of the local 'characters' got on top of the Castro Theatre marquee, stripped naked and jacked off, and then changed clothes a couple of times. The crowd was supportive of him until he climbed the Castro sign and kicked the neon lights. Then it was, 'Not the NEON!! Shoot him!'
I hope he gets the help he needs, but Jeez! Really???"

In an email Rueca told BAR: "Officers arrived on scene and observed an unknown male subject climbing on the side of the building and made his way to the roof. The subject made incoherent statements, removed his clothes, and proceeded to touch his genitals. Additional officers arrived on scene to set up a perimeter to prevent the subject from gaining access to the theater or any surrounding buildings. Pedestrian and vehicle traffic were diverted away from the incident to prevent exposure to any potential danger. Additional police resources arrived on scene to assist in negotiating a peaceful resolution to the incident."

Wiliam Quezali on the roof of the Castro Theatre.  

A BAR reporter said that "the suspect throwing bricks or cinder blocks from the roof of the theater's facade. According to bystanders on the scene, he kicked off the neon tubing."

"It's raining bricks," one witness, who did not want to be quoted by name, told the BAR reporter.

Another witness, Thomas McDonald, told B.A.R. "We saw the officers start blocking the street with cars," McDonald said. "Once I realized what was going on, I let one of the guys who works at the Castro know that someone was on top of the marquee and starting to climb the sign." He also observed he saw Quezali "climbing the sign to the roof and breaking some of the neon light."

"During this incident the subject damaged the theater neon sign and threw a heavy object to the street," Rueca stated. "Eventually the subject climbed down a ladder provided by SFFD. Officers immediately detained the suspect whom for which they developed probable cause to arrest."

Owners of the Castro Theatre and gay District 8 Supervisor Rafael Mandelman did not respond to requests for comment by press time, adds BAR.