Accused Muni window smasher pleads not guilty

November 5, 2012 8:28:11 PM PST
A young man charged with smashing the windows of a Muni bus after the Giants won the World Series faced a judge Monday. His attorney says he accepts responsibility for his actions, but the man still says he's not guilty.

A lot of people saw the photograph of a man violently smashing the windows of the Muni bus. The image was featured in media stories and widely circulated through social media. In fact, police credit the public with giving them tips that led to the arrest of the suspect.

Gregory Graniss is not denying he's the man in the photograph seen using a heavy metal barricade to smash the windows of the Muni bus. The 22-year-old Marin County native walked into the Hall Of Justice Monday accompanied by his lawyer and his parents.

"The San Francisco Giants victory was amazing and it really brought out the best of San Francisco but unfortunately, the worst in Gregory," lawyer Douglas Rappaport said.

Others in the crowd helped vandalize the bus.

The driver managed to get his eight passengers off before the bus, which the city values at about $1 million, was torched. A Muni spokesperson said Monday that it is out about $1 million because its insurance does not cover the damage caused by the vandals.

Simon Timony was beaten unconscious by a mob when he tried to stop the vandals. He told ABC7 News he saw Graniss help destroy the bus.

"He was like a monster; he was lifting this huge gate and he was pummeling this vehicle with people inside," Timony said. "How can anyone live with themselves or even get in the mindset to do that?"

Graniss pleaded not guilty to felony counts of vandalism and tampering with a passenger bus. But he may have more legal problems.

"We'll also explore the possibility of getting restitution from him; he'll be held liable for damages to the vehicle," San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon said.

With Graniss fighting back tears, his attorney told reporters his client hopes San Franciscans will forgive him.

"He's very ashamed of his actions and very, very sorry and now he wants to set an example by making amends and he hopes San Franciscans will find it in their hearts?" Rappaport said.

Gascon says the apology is nice but Graniss put the bus driver and passengers at risk.

"There's the possibility that some could have been injured, so we're appreciative of the fact he's apologetic but nevertheless, there are consequences to bad behavior and this was really bad behavior," he said.

Graniss, who has no criminal record, is out on $40,000 bail.

Police are still looking for those who torched the bus.

Bay City News contributed to this report.


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