Homeless man accused of beating San Francisco fire official to be released from prison

Homeless man accused of beating San Francisco fire official to be released from prison

Garrett Doty, a homeless man accused of severely beating former San Francisco fire commissioner Don Carmignani earlier this month, will be released from jail, after the city official missed an evidentiary hearing.

The latest development in the case comes after video surfaced allegedly showing Mr Carmignani attacking homeless people with bear spray in a string of eight incidents between November of 2021 and January of 2023.

The footage, obtained by Mr Doty’s public defender, Kleigh Hathaway, allegedly shows the former official approach the homeless man on 5 April of this year, cover his face, and pull an object appearing to be a spray can from his pocket, prompting Mr Doty to run because “he knows Mr. Carmignani has a pattern of spraying and assaulting homeless people.”

Police body camera footage also captures Mr Camignani allegedly telling his girlfriend, after the confrontation, “Don’t say nothing to nobody, don’t say nothing to the cops,” Mission Local reports.

On Tuesday, Mr Carmignani gave an interview in which he described the attack in detail and called homeless people “animals in the street.”

“I didn’t go out there to fight anyone. I’m trying to get them down the road, go to the park,” Mr Carmignani told CBS Bay Area. “It’s three-on-one. I know odds. I’m 52 years old. I have two hip replacements. I’m an old guy, I could have been a dead guy.”

The San Francisco District Attorney’s Office said the fire official couldn’t come to court because of his injuries, pushing the evidentiary hearing until 23 May.

“Mr Carmignani has not provided an interview to the San Francisco Police Department (SFPD) on this case despite multiple requests for an interview,” the DA’s office said in a statement.

Surveillance video allegedly showing former San Francisco Fire Commissioner Don Carmignani attacking a homeless person with bear spray. His attorney denies it his Mr Carmignani

(San Francisco Public Defender’s Office)

Nick Colla, Mr Carmignani’s attorney, told the San Francisco Standard his client wasn’t the man seen in the video footage.

He added that the former fire official missed court because of his extensive injuries from the 5 April encounter, in which he alleges Mr Doty attacked him with a metal pipe and left him with a broken jaw and a fractured skull when Mr Carmignani asked the man to leave the area outside his mother’s house.

“My client was repeatedly beaten with a metal rod while in the act of retreating a distance spanning nearly two city blocks from the initial point of contact with the defendant,” the attorney said in a statement.

“To suggest that the brief interview he gave a reporter from the comfort of his living room is evidence that he’s healthy enough to appear in court, and face the media circus surrounding this case, is preposterous,” he said.

The new accusations in the case mirror another shocking change of course in a recent, high-profile San Francisco attack.

Elon Musk and other members of the tech community seized on the murder of Cash App founder Bob Lee to paint a false picture of a city riven with rising street crime, only for the main suspect in the case to emerge as a fellow tech worker named Nima Momeni, who denies involvement in the killing.

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