California Homeless Man Acquitted of Assault Charges Against Former San Francisco Fire Commissioner
The former San Francisco fire commissioner was viciously attacked by a homeless guy, who was found not guilty of all charges on Friday.
Accused of repeatedly hitting Donald Carmignani, 54, over the head with a metal pipe on April 5, Garret Doty, a homeless man now 25 years old, was charged with two charges of assault and one count of battery.
Doty “fought back to protect himself out of fear for his life,” according to Deputy Public Defender Kleigh Hathaway. The San Francisco Public Defender’s Office stated in a press statement that Carmignani’s lawyers had only previously released “selected video footage” of the incident, omitting the beginning of the conflict.
Carmignani started the fight, doused the homeless guy with bear spray, and threatened to knife and kill him if he did not relocate his possessions, according to Doty’s defense lawyers. Before this, Carmignani claimed that his mother was terrified to leave her Marina District home because three homeless persons had established an encampment close to her front door.
Carmignani allegedly threatened Doty, according to the San Francisco Public Defender’s Office, so he opted to equip himself with a metal rod he discovered in a trash can.
According to the public defenders, Carmignai “stood against a building and baited Doty to come closer” fifteen minutes later, at which point he sprayed him with bear spray, starting the violent struggle. In an earlier video that Carmignani made public, Doty is shown marching at him while brandishing a metal rod and striking him many times. Carmignani had a shattered jaw, a fractured skull, and 51 stitches after the brutal attack.
Kleigh Hathaway, Deputy Public Defender, stated that Doty’s actions against Carmignani were “clear to her” to be self-defense. “From the beginning, it was clear to me that Mr. Doty was acting in self-defense against Mr. Carmignani, who not only dared to attack Mr. Doty with bear spray and then threatened to stab and kill Mr. Doty but also presented himself as unwilling to back down from a fight that he had started,” Hathaway said.
“Self-defense can be fierce because the brain goes into survival mode, and that fear response is sadly heightened for unhoused people, like Mr. Doty, who live in constant exposure.”
The San Francisco GOP Chairman, John Dennis, cited Democratic policies in the city that “put residents under constant threat from street dwellers.” Dennis sent a statement to Fox News Digital that read, “While San Francisco Republicans respect the judicial process, we’re disappointed that this violent act against a respected lifelong resident will go unpunished.” “Democratic policies in San Francisco have made residents constantly vulnerable to violence from homeless people. The verdict in this case guarantees that such an assault will take again.”
Additionally, the public defense claimed that Carmignani had previously attacked eight different homeless people in the neighborhood with pepper spray.
In a news release from the public defense, Carmignani stated that although he did not testify during Doty’s trial, he did so during the preliminary hearing. There, he asserted his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination in response to any questions on his earlier usage of bear spray or pepper spray.
The mother and the former city official had earlier claimed that they had called the local police about the homeless camp, but that the police had not returned their calls.
“To my knowledge, neither SFPD nor any of the city’s various homeless service providers responded to our 911 calls that morning,” he stated.
Doty’s group harassed people on the sidewalk and used drugs in public, bothering his mother and girlfriend throughout the day.
“My family has had prior interactions with these individuals, who have made repeated threats of violence to my family members,” he stated. “As a result, my mother did not feel safe leaving her home.”
According to Carmignani, the group was made up of “known criminals” who had damaged property, harassed locals, and been spotted doing narcotics in public.
“As a native San Franciscan and lifelong Marina District resident, I firmly believe that the city needs to promote the safety of its law-abiding citizens over those who chose to do drugs and commit violent acts in our streets,” he stated. “I am hopeful that this unfortunate incident will lead to policy changes to better protect the interests of San Francisco residents and that my attackers will be fully prosecuted.”