Suspect charged in attack on ex-fire commissioner


A 24-year-old man was charged Monday in connection with last week’s violent attack on former San Francisco Fire Commissioner Don Carmignani in the Marina District, officials said.

Garret Allen Doty was charged with three felonies: assault with a deadly weapon, aggravated battery with serious bodily injury and assault with force likely to produce great bodily injury, the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office said.

Doty is accused of assaulting the former fire commissioner with a metal pipe near Laguna and Magnolia streets at around 7:20 p.m. last Wednesday, as SFGATE previously reported. Carmignani, 53, suffered serious injuries and was taken to San Francisco General Hospital from the scene, police said. 

Doty’s attorney, Katherine Kleigh Hathaway, told SFGATE she believes Doty was acting in self-defense. Hathaway said Carmignani allegedly came out of his house yelling at Doty and pepper-sprayed him.

“I don’t know what’s going to be revealed, but I do think that this is most likely going to end up being a self-defense case,” Hathaway said.

Friday, KGO interviewed a man who claimed he was with the person who attacked Carmignani. “It wasn’t a crow bar. It was two round pieces of metal that had been broken,” he said. 

The man alleged that he and Doty were sprayed with bear mace because Carmignani didn’t like that they were outside his home. Doty was arrested and booked into San Francisco County Jail, where he has been in custody since the attack. He remains detained “because of the public safety risk posed,” the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office said. 

Doty is scheduled to appear in court Thursday for an arraignment. If he’s convicted of all charges, he faces seven years in prison. 

Hathaway said she hasn’t been able to speak with Doty because he is sick but plans on speaking with him Tuesday ahead of the arraignment. 

San Francisco District Attorney Brooke Jenkins condemned the violence in a Monday statement, saying it’s “unacceptable.”

“I understand how a violent attack like this can shake a community, and I am committed to ensuring that the defendant is held accountable, so that we send the strongest message that violence like this is unacceptable,” Jenkins said. “I am sending strength to the victim as he continues his recovery, and we will do everything in our power to seek justice for the victim and the community that has been traumatized.” 

Carmignani was appointed fire commissioner in 2013 by then-Mayor Ed Lee; he resigned less than five months later, after being arrested on domestic violence charges, the San Francisco Chronicle reported at the time. (The Chronicle and SFGATE are both owned by Hearst but have separate newsrooms.)

Wednesday’s attack came after Cash App founder Bob Lee was stabbed to death early Tuesday in another high-profile incident.

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