The family of former SF fire commissioner Don Carmignani claims that charges are going to be dropped against the man who hit him with a metal pipe earlier this month, and they say that Carmignani himself may face charges.
The Marina District incident in question occurred on April 5, one day after the murder of tech executive Bob Lee, contributing to a media narrative about chaos and violence on San Francisco streets. But it soon emerged that the story was not so simple, and that former SF fire commissioner Don Carmignani may have been the aggressor in an altercation with homeless men who had camped out outside his mother's home.
Carmignani allegedly confronted three homeless individuals outside the home near Magnolia and Laguna Streets on April 5, trying to get them to move elsewhere, and using pepper spray or bear mace to make his point. This was reportedly outside the home of Carmignani's elderly mother.
One of the individuals, 24-year-old Garrett Doty, allegedly responded by chasing and hitting Carmignani with a metal pipe.
As the Chronicle reports, at a preliminary hearing Wednesday morning, a public defender representing Doty accused Carmignani of "terrorizing" homeless people outside the Marina District home. And according to a statement by Carmignani's family, charges may get dropped against Doty and new charges may potentially be filed against Carmignani himself.
Carmignani gave an interview to KPIX Tuesday from the hospital, where he remains recovering from head injuries, and this interview came up during Wednesday's hearing, per the Chronicle. While the DA's office was requesting another day to get their own interview with Carmignani, saying his medical condition had kept them from speaking to him, Superior Court Judge Loretta M. Giorgi said in court that it was "disturbing, if he is able to make a press appearance but not a lawful court appearance."
Carmignani's family has made it known that he suffered severe injuries in the attack, including a fractured jaw, and he required surgery to remove a piece of his skull.
In Carmignani's description of events, he says the homeless men had threatened his family — presumably his mother — and "I didn't go out there to fight anyone. I'm trying to get them down the road, go to the park. 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."
As KRON4 reports, the family's statement expresses anger at the DA's office for even considering dropping charges against Doty, citing self-defense, or filing charges against Carmignani. The statement also suggests that the family will disseminate surveillance video of the incident showing Doty chasing down Carmignani and "bludgeoning" him with the pipe.
"We strongly believe that rather than threatening Mr. Carmignani, they should focus on prosecuting the individual who has terrorized the Marina, and put Don in the hospital after brutally beating him with a metal rod," the statement says.
The family also says that DA Brooke Jenkins has already decided to release Doty "back onto city streets with impunity,"
Judge Giorgi called a recess and had not yet ruled on the requested delay, per the Chronicle. We'll update this post when she does.
Photo via surveillance