Suspect accused in altercation with former SF fire commissioner acted in self-defense, attorney says

ByGloria Rodríguez and Suzanne Phan KGO logo
Thursday, April 27, 2023
Suspect in ex-SFFD official attack released ahead of
The unhoused man accused of hitting the former SFFD commissioner Don Carmignani with a metal rod will be released from custody on Thursday.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- In early April, cellphone video showed the man San Francisco police say was in an altercation with former fire department Commissioner Don Carmignani, with some type of metal object in the Marina District.

UPDATE: Man accused of hitting ex-SFFD commissioner with metal rod to be released ahead of hearing

Garret Allen Doty, who is unhoused, is being charged with multiple felonies for the brutal assault.

Doty's public defender, Kleigh Hathaway, has said it was a case of self-defense and making striking accusations against Carmignani.

Hathaway is now calling for the charges against her client Doty to be dropped.

The public defender claims that ex-fire commissioner is linked to as many as eight attacks on homeless people.

On Wednesday, her office released video from a Nov. 2021 incident.

The public defender claims the person seen spraying a homeless man with bear spray appears to be Carmignani.

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"That video is shocking. That video shows a man asleep on the sidewalk," said Hathaway. "The district attorney and the police now have reason to believe that that Mr. Carmen was involved in eight separate acts of violence. These eight acts of violence were perpetrated against people who were homeless."

ABC7News asked District Attorney Brooke Jenkins about those eight alleged incidents possibly involving Carmignani.

"I have viewed a video and right now, it's just an allegation of who it is. There is more investigation that needs to be done," said DA Brooke Jenkins. "These are all allegations right now for any of these alleged circumstances."

DA Jenkins says her priority is what happened April 5 and having Carmingnani appear in court for Doty's preliminary hearing.

Carmingnani did not appear on Wednesday.

"The consequence if we don't go forward tomorrow, the court by law must release Mr. Doty back into the public," said Jenkins.

The DA says Carmignani has not given his statement to police or the DA's office about what exactly happened April 5.

VIDEO: New details, video in attack of former SF fire commissioner in Marina District

New details are emerging from the brutal attack of former San Francisco Fire Commissioner Don Carmignani in the city's Marina District

"The P.D. has reached out multiple times to Mr. Carmignani and they have not been afforded an interview with him," said Jenkins.

The DA says there is no intention of dismissing the case, but they need Carmignani's help.

"We need him to come and testify. We hope he shows up tomorrow," said Jenkins.

The DA says her office will do everything to ensure Doty faces consequences for the April 5 attack.

We checked with SFPD about the other alleged attacks including the one from Nov. 2021.

The DA and police department say they don't have any police reports filed specifically connecting Carmignani to those incidents.

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