San Francisco jury finds homeless man not guilty in beating of businessman left with brain injury

Dec 22, 2023, 5:02 PM

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A San Francisco jury on Friday found a homeless man not guilty after being accused of using a metal pipe to beat a businessman who suffered a broken jaw, fractured skull and traumatic brain injury in an attack caught on video that fueled debate about crime and homelessness in the city.

Garret Doty, 25, was charged with three assault and battery charges for the April 5 beating of Don Carmignani. Doty pleaded not guilty.

Prosecutors said Doty beat Carmignani in an act of revenge. But Doty’s defense attorneys said he was acting in self-defense after Carmignani sprayed him with bear spray.

The attack on Carmignani, a businessman who served briefly on a Fire Department commission, happened two days after the stabbing death of Cash App founder Bob Lee.

Lee’s killing unleashed a wave of criticism against city officials by prominent tech leaders. Among the critics was tech billionaire Elon Musk, who took to Twitter to mourn Lee’s death and blame San Francisco for what he called the city’s lax attitude toward crime. A tech consultant is awaiting trial in Lee’s killing.

The attack on Carmignani fueled a narrative of a city in chaos. But Doty’s defense attorney argued Doty acted in self defense and released surveillance video showing Carmignani spraying Doty before he began chasing him while wielding a metal pipe.

Deputy Public Defender Kleigh Hathaway said Carmignani had repeatedly doused unhoused people, including Doty, with bear spray.

“Self-defense can be fierce, it can be effective and it can be disabling,” Hathaway said. “And why wouldn’t it be? You’re fighting for your life.”

In closing arguments Tuesday, Assistant District Attorney Kourtney Bell conceded that Carmignani had a history of aggression, saying that he may have used bear spray on unhoused people in the Marina District on at least one occasion, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

A confrontation between Carmignani and Doty started after Doty and two others set up tents outside the home of Carmignani’s parents, who live next door to him in the upscale Marina District. Carmignani said in an interview with KPIX-TV that he had asked Doty to move away because they were blocking his parent’s entryway.

He said he called 911 but no one responded, so he went out to talk to the homeless people. and that the only thing he had on him was pepper spray.

“I didn’t go out there to fight anyone. I’m trying to get them down the road, go to the park,” Carmignani told the television station.

United States News

FILE - Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón speaks during a news conference Feb. 22,...

Associated Press

Los Angeles County district attorney seeks reelection in contest focused on feeling of public safety

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Los Angeles County voters are set to decide next month if embattled District Attorney George Gascón will remain the head of the nation’s largest prosecutor’s office in a race centered on perceptions of public safety. Gascón, who was elected in 2020 on a criminal justice platform alongside a wave of progressive […]

3 hours ago

In combo of undated selfie images provided courtesy of the Dime Doe family, show Dime Doe, a Black ...

Associated Press

A love affair unraveled before a Black transgender woman was fatally shot in rural South Carolina

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — A Black transgender woman and the guy she was secretly dating had just been pulled over in rural South Carolina. Dime Doe, the driver, was worried. She already had points against her license and didn’t want another ticket to stop her from getting behind the wheel. Daqua Lameek Ritter, whom she […]

3 hours ago

Associated Press

Remains found over 50 years ago identified through DNA technology as Oregon teen

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The remains of a teenager found more than 50 years ago have been identified through advanced DNA technology as a young woman who went missing from Portland, Oregon State Police said. The remains are that of Sandra Young, a high school student who disappeared in 1968 or 1969, police said Thursday […]

5 hours ago

Associated Press

California man arrested for making threats against election official in Arizona after 2022 vote

SAN DIEGO (AP) — A San Diego man was arrested Thursday on suspicion of leaving threatening messages on the personal cellphone of an Arizona election worker he accused of rigging the 2022 election results, federal prosecutors said. The 52-year-old was charged with one count of communicating an interstate threat and will make an initial court […]

5 hours ago

Associated Press

Two more candidates file papers to run for U.S. Senate in Pennsylvania

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Two more candidates filed paperwork Thursday to appear on Pennsylvania’s primary ballots for U.S. Senate as Democratic Sen. Bob Casey runs for a fourth term and Democrats try to maintain a majority in the narrowly divided chamber. Brandi Tomasetti, a Republican from Lancaster County, and William Parker, a Democrat from Allegheny […]

6 hours ago

Follow @ktar923...

Sponsored Content by Midwestern University

Midwestern University Clinics: transforming health care in the valley

Midwestern University, long a fixture of comprehensive health care education in the West Valley, is also a recognized leader in community health care.

Sponsored Articles


Collins Comfort Masters

Avoid a potential emergency and get your home’s heating and furnace safety checked

With the weather getting colder throughout the Valley, the best time to make sure your heating is all up to date is now. 

(KTAR News Graphic)...

Boys & Girls Clubs

KTAR launches online holiday auction benefitting Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley

KTAR is teaming up with The Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley for a holiday auction benefitting thousands of Valley kids.


Sanderson Ford

The best ways to honor our heroes on Veterans Day and give back to the community

Veterans Day is fast approaching and there's no better way to support our veterans than to donate to the Military Assistance Mission.

San Francisco jury finds homeless man not guilty in beating of businessman left with brain injury