A visibly mentally ill suspect, who just a month earlier had been jailed in San Francisco for a terrifying incident in which he entered the home of a disabled woman and essentially held her hostage while she was unable to call for help, was arrested in August following another highly disturbing incident outside a school.
We are now learning that 39-year-old Brandon Paillet very quickly got himself in trouble again after being arrested in July and briefly held in SF County Jail. As SFist reported at the time, Paillet was accused of walking into an unnamed woman's apartment in Corona Heights on July 20 and refusing to leave. The terrified woman said that Paillet talked at her for an extended period of time, muttering incoherent things, and because she is disabled, all she could do was roll off the couch and attempt to crawl to a telephone to call 911.
When police arrived, Paillet refused to open the door — which he had locked — and the woman could not reach it, so she told police to just break the door down, which they did.
Paillet did not appear to be a danger to himself or others at the time — he did not have a weapon and later claimed in a jailhouse interview with KTVU that voices had "summoned" him to the woman's apartment to do something for her.
It's not clear when Paillet was released after that incident, but on August 31, he was once again out frightening people, this time with a gun.
As Bay City News reported at the time, Paillet was "making threatening gestures and incoherent statements to parents outside" of New Traditions Elementary School on the 2000 block of Grove Street. Police arrived, and asked Paillet if he was armed. He said no, but then a .38-caliber revolver fell out of his backpack when he allegedly threw it at officers while trying to evade arrest.
As we now learn from federal court records, via Bay Area News Group, the 911 caller reported that Paillet was "holding his hand like there’s a gun" and "punching cars" outside the school, apparently suffering from a mental health episode.
Paillet was charged in October with being a felon in possession of a firearm, and he pleaded not guilty. He had originally been arrested on five counts, including carrying loaded firearm by a prohibited person, possession of a firearm on school grounds, and possession of ammunition by a felon. He will now have his next hearing in federal court in December.
He is being held at Santa Rita Jail in Dublin on a no-bail hold.
The frustrating part about this case is that this is a man who is clearly suffering from untreated mental illness, but he has also committed several violent and/or threatening crimes but he's been repeatedly released on his on recognizance.
We don't have court records to clarify to complete timeline of Paillet's arrests, but we know he was arrested in December 2018 for aggravated assault in the Tenderloin, and at the time, Tenderloin police said he was already on felony probation for stalking. Just five days before the July 20, 2021 home-invasion incident, he had been let out of jail following a June 3 carjacking and kidnapping incident, in which he hopped into a pet groomer's van and drove off with the groomer still in the back.
District Attorney Chesa Boudin had sought to hold Paillet on a probation violation in July, but that apparently didn't work. And the crimes he was charged with — misdemeanor false imprisonment, trespassing, and resisting arrest — were not enough to hold him that time, despite this extensive pattern of scary behavior. Boudin had reportedly told a court that Paillet was in and out of jail four times last year.
This starts to sound like a pretty strong case for conservatorship, were it not for the fact that Paillet will now likely serve time first for the gun charge. How is this not a what most people would call a public danger, when a man with mental illness repeatedly (allegedly) commits these crimes and has access to weapons?
Stay tuned for when he gets let out of jail again.
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