February 27, 2006
More than 500 people -- some who had arrived before noon -- showed up for the 4 p.m. giveaway but walked away empty-handed. Joe Canada, an artist from Novato, spoke to the crowd for about an hour but drove away before he or any of his 20 volunteers could hand out any bills. The size of the crowd might have intimidated him, police said.He better not show his face, that is, unless he has Mr. Hunt's 10 bucks.
"There were too many people," Sgt. Anthony Manfreda said. "He just got spooked."
The crowd saw Canada pulling away in his truck on Polk Street and began walking quickly toward the truck. The volunteers headed the people off and convinced them to return to the area near the entrance to the Civic Center underground parking lot.
The crowd began cursing and yelling at Canada and his volunteers.
"This was just a great big joke on us," Steve Hunt said. "He better not show his face here again."
Local liquor store owners were also excited at the prospect of racking up some $5,000 in sales for the evening only to be disappointed by the artist's sudden departure.
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