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San Francisco vagrant arrested for assault with deadly weapon after he was acquitted of bludgeoning man jurors didn't like
Composite screenshot of KTVU YouTube video (pictured: Garret Doty and Don Carmignani)

San Francisco vagrant arrested for assault with deadly weapon after he was acquitted of bludgeoning man jurors didn't like

A vagrant who seems to be terrorizing a San Francisco neighborhood was arrested once again for assault with a deadly weapon just a few weeks after a jury acquitted him of viciously beating the city's former fire commissioner.

As Blaze News previously reported, in April 2023, former San Francisco Fire Commissioner Don Carmignani called police because three homeless men were loitering outside his mother's home, using drugs and harassing those strolling by. When no one responded to his calls for help, Carmignani confronted the group and ordered them to leave the area. Tensions escalated, and one of the vagrants — 24-year-old Garret Doty — grabbed a metal rod from a garbage bin and began striking Carmignani with it.

The attack, which a bystander captured on video, was brutal. Carmignani's skull was punctured, requiring emergency surgery so invasive that doctors had to break his jaw, causing his teeth to shift. He then spent several days recovering in the ICU and, after returning home, experienced night terrors and difficulty with short-term memory, he later claimed in an interview.

Doty was initially arrested and charged with assault with a deadly weapon, aggravated battery with serious bodily injury, and assault with force likely to produce great bodily injury. Prosecutors then moved to drop the charges, claiming that Carmignani may have instigated the attack by using bear spray against the vagrants and that Doty likely used the metal rod in "self-defense."

It seems prosecutors changed their minds and proceeded with the case against Doty, perhaps because he apparently twice violated an order to stay away from the Marina District neighborhood where the incident with Carmignani occurred. Doty was ultimately tried for two counts of assault and one count of battery. In December, a jury acquitted him of all charges.

Outside the courtroom, Doty's public defender, Kleigh Hathaway, cheered the verdict as a sliver of justice for "unhoused people" like her client who too often live in "fear." "From the beginning, it was clear to me that Mr. Doty was acting in self-defense against Mr. Carmignani, who not only had the audacity 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," she 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."

Mike Brophy, who sat on the jury, later revealed that he and other jurors viewed the case through an ideological lens. Prosecutors twisted the evidence so that they could "make a case for coming down hard on homeless violence," said Brophy, who does not necessarily see "homeless violence" as a pervasive problem.

Brophy also referred to Carmignani as "a reprehensible character" who did not incite much sympathy from jurors. "We were all convinced the initial belligerent here was Carmignani," Brophy claimed. "I really don't like the feeling of my city trying to be an apologist for a known belligerent, a known vigilante."

Homeless man found not guilty in beating casewww.youtube.com

The jury's apparent decision to favor Doty over Carmignani may have resulted in further area violence. According to the Marina Times, an independent outlet that covered the Carmignani case closely, Doty, now 25, was arrested earlier this week for allegedly attacking another victim just down the street from the incident with Carmignani.

Shortly before 2:30 a.m. on Monday morning, Doty was allegedly involved in some kind of violence in the Marina District. He was arrested and booked into jail on a charge of assault with a deadly weapon, not a firearm. Jail records confirm that as of Tuesday morning, Doty remains in custody and no bond has been set.

With yet another alleged attack just a month or so after the acquittal, many on social media are blaming Brophy and his fellow jurors for releasing a vagrant with an apparent penchant for violence back onto the streets.

"It’s a shame this latest victim can’t sue the judge or members of the jury that acquitted this thug Doty," wrote one user. "This latest attack is on all their consciences. How do they live with themselves?"

Another user suspects that should this alleged incident be brought to trial, jurors will once again fall for ideological framing: "[L]ets [sic] see what they say this time, who provoked him this time[,] who caused him to be 'afraid' this time even though he violated his whatever it was called to stay out of the area ... lets [sic] see what the new story is, this is the old story."

The Marina Times agreed. "Right now @sfdefender is digging for dirt on the victim and praying they get a rogue jury that ignores the law again," the outlet responded.

"Sadly, in San Francisco that’s entirely possible."

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Cortney Weil

Cortney Weil

Sr. Editor, News

Cortney Weil is a senior editor for Blaze News.
@cortneyweil →