SF landlord makes court appearance on assault charges

Landlord Norman Sabel faces felony charges related to a scuffle he had with police. Officers responded earlier this week to a 911 call from tenant Nikko Bravo, who said Sabel broke into his apartment unit. Bravo secretly recorded Sabel cussing at him, as he was kicking in the door. An officer who responded broke his knee when he tried to subdue Sabel.

The landlord owns an apartment building on Fulton Street near Golden Gate Park. Several tenants are suing him, saying he's abused and terrorized them.

Bravo took several videos, which he says proves how abusive his landlord can be. One video was taken when Sabel was about to hose down a common area of the apartment building. After Sabel takes a swing at the tenant, he charges at him. Sabel's lawyer defends his client this way.

"Nikko Bravo was provoking Mr. Sabel. That's the way I saw it. And I think that when people take a closer look at this, that's what they're going to see," said Hugo Torbet, the landlord's attorney.

That's not the way the district attorney saw it.

"As a landlord, he has definitely crossed the line. His way of dealing with his tenants is very disturbing. He is clearly very abusive. He's obviously a violent person," said San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon.

The judge granted the prosecution's motion for a stay away order, telling Sabel he'd have to keep at least 150 yards away from Bravo, his tenant who moved out on Wednesday, the day our story aired.

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