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New questions and confusion surround San Francisco pipe attack as alleged victim suddenly becomes accused

Former candidate for San Francisco DA Joe Alioto Veronese calls out the possibility of charges being dropped against a homeless man who attacked a former fire commissioner on "Fox News Tonight."

Questions and confusion surround the case of former San Francisco fire commissioner brutally attacked by a homeless man after the public defender's office released videos and information claiming the alleged victim had used bear spray on vagrants eight previous times. 

Don Carmignani has 51 stitches, a fractured skull and a broken jaw after captured video shows a homeless man beating him with a metal pipe. The fight broke out after the former fire commissioner asked the homeless encampment that was allegedly harassing residents and using drugs outside his mother’s residence to leave, according to a previous Fox News report. 

Garret Doty, a 24-year-old homeless, was arrested on charges of assault with a deadly weapon and battery causing serious injury. His public defender says he was acting in self-defense after being pepper sprayed. According to the San Francisco Public Defender's office, the two men got into an argument after a security video shows Carmignani approaching Doty first. A witness, FOX-KTVU reported, told police she heard Carmignani threaten to stab and kill Doty.

The public defender's office has asked San Francisco District Attorney Brooke Jenkins to drop the charges against Doty because Carmignani allegedly has a pattern of provoking homeless people. Carmignani, they argued, matches the physical description, of a man in the area who has bear or pepper sprayed homeless people eight different times dating back to November 2021. 

Carmignani’s friend, former candidate for San Francisco DA Joe Alioto Veronese, came to his defense Wednesday, and said the public defender's office's claims are not true. 

"Don ended up spraying himself with it," Veronese told "Fox News Tonight." "He did not spray the homeless people with it. He sprayed himself with it, which is why in one of those videos, you see him with his hands above his face in a defensive position like he is blind. He's actually blinded by the pepper spray that was sprayed and that's when he went running down the street and you see the moment right before he received that nearly deadly blow to the back of his skull." 


The former DA candidate said the resurfaced video of an unnamed man pepper spraying the homeless is "definitely not Don." 

"When it comes to self-defense, there’s the beginning and there's an end to that," he explained. "When your alleged aggressor goes running down the street and you're chasing him, you're no longer in a self-defensive position and that's what the district attorney needs to be looking at here, whether or not there was any sort of aggression at one point." 


Jenkins has said she would prosecute Doty for the attack. However, KTVU reported, Carmignani's own lawyers said Doty's charges would be dropped based on new evidence.

"Whether or not we can prove Mr. Doty is guilty comes down to the actions that took place at the time of the incident not something before that," Jenkins said. 

Veronese said San Francisco residents, who are at the point of carrying self-defense weapons on them, are losing faith in justice system and feared what might happen if prosecutors let came let "that monster out of jail." 

"The people in San Francisco are not going to have confidence in their district attorney unless they feel like their justice system is fair," he said.

Fox News’ Michael Ruiz and FOX-KTVU contributed to this report. 

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