The suspect in last week’s alleged Marina District crowbar attack of a former fire commissioner claims through his attorney that he was pepper-sprayed first, though DA Jenkins is not buying it, and has filed felony charges.

Last Wednesday’s crowbar attack of former SF fire commissioner Don Carmignani still has tensions high in the Marina District, where Carmignani was reportedly beaten on the head with a crowbar, outside his home near Magnolia and Laguna Streets. And while a suspect was quickly arrested that evening, according to the Chronicle, that 24-year-old suspect Garrett Doty is now apparently claiming he was attacked first with pepper spray, or at least that’s what his public defender is saying.

"My understanding at this preliminary point is that Mr. Carmignani came upon my client and threatened him and then pepper sprayed him with a big can of pepper spray," public defender Kleigh Hathaway told the Chronicle.

KGO has video showing the reportedly homeless suspect Doty, who has been detained since his arrest last week. But KGO spoke to an associate of Doty, and KGO says that this man, Nate Roye, claims that he and Doty were sprayed at with “bear mace.” Roye also says that the weapon was not a crow bar, but instead "it was two round pieces of metal that had been broken."

District attorney Brooke Jenkins is not buying it, and has changed Doty with three felony counts of assault with a deadly weapon, aggravated battery with serious bodily injury, and assault with force likely to produce great bodily injury.

“I understand how a violent attack like this can shake a community and I am committed to ensuring that the defendant is held accountable, so that we send the strongest message that violence like this is unacceptable,” Jenkins said in  a statement. “I am sending strength to the victim as he continues his recovery, and we will do everything in our power to seek justice for the victim and the community that has been traumatized.”

Carmignani remains hospitalized with a fractured skull and jaw, 51 stitches, and required emergency surgery. A friend of his told the Chronicle that Carmignani would be “disabled for life” because of the injuries.

As we learned last week, the conflict between Carmignani and Doty allegedly began when Carmignani was attempting to remove Doty from sidewalk space outside of Carmignani's mother's home. What happened during the conflict still remains unclear.

While a suspect is in custody, this remains an open investigation. If you have any information on this incident, you’re asked to call the SFPD tip line at 415-575-4444, or text a tip to TIP411 and begin the message with “SFPD.” Tipsters can remain anonymous.

Related: Man Assaulted With Metal Pipe In Marina Was Former Police Commissioner [SFist]

Image: David von Diemar via Unsplash