A homeless guy was found not guilty by a San Francisco jury of beating a businessman who suffered a brain injury

A San Francisco jury found Garret Doty, a homeless man, not guilty after he was accused of assaulting businessman Don Carmignani using a metal pipe. The incident, which resulted in Carmignani suffering a broken jaw, fractured skull, and traumatic brain injury, was captured on video and became a focal point in discussions about crime and homelessness in San Francisco​​.

Details of the Incident and Trial: The attack occurred after Carmignani and his mother reported to the police that three homeless individuals, including Doty, had set up tents outside their home. Claiming that the group made violent threats against his family, Carmignani confronted them after a lack of response from police and homeless service providers. He alleged that he was attacked by one of the group members, leading to his serious injuries​​.

Doty’s defense, led by Deputy Public Defender Kleigh Hathaway, argued that he acted in self-defense after Carmignani sprayed him with bear spray. Surveillance footage was presented showing Carmignani spraying Doty before the latter chased him with a metal pipe. Hathaway highlighted Carmignani’s history of aggression towards homeless individuals, including Doty, describing him as someone who terrorized homeless people with bear spray​​.

Revelations During the Trial: During the discovery process of the trial, police reports revealed multiple incidents where a man matching Carmignani’s description attacked homeless individuals with bear spray. This included an incident captured on video where Carmignani was seen spraying a sleeping homeless person. This evidence suggested a pattern of aggressive behavior by Carmignani towards the homeless, leading to the defense’s argument that Doty’s actions were a response to this aggression​​.

The Jury’s Decision and Its Implications: The jury’s verdict in favor of Doty was influenced by the context of self-defense and Carmignani’s alleged history of aggressive behavior towards homeless individuals. The District Attorney’s Office, influenced by the new evidence, moved to dismiss the charges against Doty, recognizing the attack with a metal rod as potentially an act of self-defense. Carmignani, on his part, admitted to using the spray in self-defense but claimed he never sprayed the suspect directly​​​​.

This case highlights the complexities surrounding incidents of violence involving homeless individuals and residents in urban settings. It brings to light the issues of self-defense, the treatment of homeless people, and the challenge of addressing aggressive behaviors within the community. The jury’s decision not only acquitted Doty but also shed light on a broader issue of the treatment of the homeless population in San Francisco.