Issue:  Vol. 48 / No. 7 / 15 February 2018

Police take man’s ex to hospital after he sneaks in through window

A man’s ex-boyfriend was taken by police to a hospital after the ex snuck into the man’s house and refused to leave, according to the Park Station police newsletter.

Police said the incident happened in the 500 block of Belvedere Street at about 5:15 p.m. February 10.

Two officers responded to the scene on a reported trespasser. When they arrived, they met with the home’s resident, who said that his ex-boyfriend had come in through a broken window and refused to leave the house.

Police reported that the ex “was incoherent, and was unable to answer any questions.” Officers detained him, but when they helped him out of the home, he “began to pull away and bang his head against the patrol vehicle.”

Officers determined that he posed “a danger to himself and others” and took him to UCSF.

— Seth Hemmelgarn, February 16, 2018 @ 7:33 pm PST
Filed under: Uncategorized

12-year-old, 2 teens arrested in Duboce Triangle robbery

A 12-year-old boy and two 17-year-olds were arrested Thursday night after they robbed a man on Muni in the Duboce Triangle neighborhood, according to police.

The incident occurred at about 8:40 p.m. when the victim, 42, was on Muni with his laptop at Duboce and Church streets. Police said at least one of the suspects swiped the victim’s computer and punched him when he tried to retrieve it.

Police subsequently arrested the three boys, whose names aren’t expected to be released since police don’t typically share the names of juvenile suspects.

The victim suffered a non-life threatening injury. He refused medical treatment.

— Seth Hemmelgarn, @ 7:11 pm PST
Filed under: Uncategorized

Prop 8 backers file appeal in court tapes case

Backers of California’s Proposition 8 filed notice Friday that they’re appealing a ruling that videos of court testimony related to the same-sex marriage ban should be unsealed in 2020.

For years, Prop 8’s anti-LGBT proponents have sought to protect their allies, whose testimony in the court case formerly known as Perry v. Schwarzenegger was found unconvincing by now-retired U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker. Walker ruled in 2010 that Prop 8 was unconstitutional.

San Francisco’s KQED public radio and TV station filed a motion in April 2017 to unseal the tapes, which have never been broadcast in full.

In January 2018, U.S. District Judge William H. Orrick ruled that the tapes should remain sealed until August 12, 2020, “absent further order from this court that compelling reasons exist to continue to seal them.” In his ruling, Orrick noted that Walker had said that the tapes would only be for his personal use in preparing his findings.

— Seth Hemmelgarn, @ 6:40 pm PST
Filed under: Uncategorized

Trans woman denies fatally throwing dog from SF parking garage

Wakeen Best (Photo: SFPD)

Wakeen Best (Photo: SFPD)

The transgender woman accused of throwing a Chihuahua to its death this weekend pleaded not guilty in the case Wednesday afternoon.

Wakeen J. Best, 34, of San Francisco, is charged with animal abuse, second-degree burglary, and other counts in the February 10 incident in which she allegedly broke into a car on the seventh floor of a Financial District parking garage, grabbed Dunky, a 4-year-old tan and black Chihuahua, and tossed the dog to the ground below.

Police said that at about 2 p.m. Saturday, officers responded to an auto burglary involving a dead dog in the 400 block of Stockton Street.

The victim had returned to the spot to find someone waiting with Dunky at the corner of Sutter and Stockton Streets. He initially thought the dog had escaped from his vehicle and fallen.

When the victim went to his car, he discovered someone had broken in. Broken glass and blood was throughout the vehicle. His glove compartment had also been rummaged through, police said.

Officers found a trail of blood leading to the ledge where Dunky had been thrown onto the street and obtained dash camera footage that captured Best on video and audio of the crime happening, according to police. Officers immediately recognized her from prior contacts and went to arrest her as Animal Care and Control came to take Dunky.

Dunky (Photo: SFPD)

Dunky (Photo: SFPD)

At 9:51 a.m. Sunday, a sergeant from Central Station spotted Best near Polk and Bush streets. She was arrested and booked into jail on felony charges of animal cruelty, burglary, grand theft, possession of stolen property, carrying a concealed weapon, vandalism, and a probation violation. Best was also booked on misdemeanor charges of possession of burglary tools, possession of drug paraphernalia, and violation of a court order.

At Best’s arraignment Wednesday, Superior Court Judge Braden Woods set bail in the case at $85,000. However, the prosecutor in the case filed a motion to revoke Best’s probation on a previous burglary case, so Best wouldn’t be able to post bail in either case.

The prosecutor also requested that if Best did post bail, she have “no contact with animals of any kind.”

Outside the courtroom, Deputy Public Defender Alexandra Pray said that she’s only spoken to Best “briefly,” and she’s just received evidence in the case. However, she hasn’t obtained video from the incident.

Pray told reporters the allegations are “totally out of character” for Best, and “It’s hard to believe she would intentionally hurt an animal.”

Besides several burglary counts, court records show that Best’s criminal history also includes robbery and drug-related charges.


— Seth Hemmelgarn, February 13, 2018 @ 5:05 pm PST
Filed under: Uncategorized

SF supe, others work to move Gangway

The Gangway bar shortly after it shut down in January. (Photo: Rick Gerharter)

The Gangway bar shortly after it shut down in January. (Photo: Rick Gerharter)

San Francisco Supervisor Jane Kim’s office, LGBT preservationists, and the city’s Office of Workforce and Economic Development announced Thursday that they’re working to move the Gangway bar, the historic gay bar that recently shut down in the Tenderloin district.

The group plans to use the same model that saved the iconic Stud bar from closing last year in the South of Market neighborhood.

“San Francisco is at risk of losing what makes us special,” Kim, whose District 6 includes the Tenderloin, said in a news release. “Our city was the birthplace of the LGBT civil rights movement, and bars like the Gangway played an essential role. We can’t just let the oldest gay bar in the gayest city in America quietly close.”

According to the group working on the move, the Gangway, which was at 841 Larkin Street, first opened as a bar in 1910 and had its first same-sex police raid in 1911. It’s operated openly as a gay bar since 1961.

Longtime Gangway owner Jung Lee sold the bar to Sam Young, who also owns the Kozy Kar bar at 1548 Polk Street, and the Gangway closed for good January 27. Young, whom the Bay Area Reporter hasn’t been able to reach for comment, plans to open Young’s Kung Fu Action Theatre and Laundry at the site, according to the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control.

Nate Allbee, the gay preservationist who authored the city’s Legacy Business Registry and founded The Stud Collective, is leading efforts to teach a new Gangway Collective how to develop and operate a new, cooperatively owned Gangway. Kim’s office and city officials will work with the Gangway Collective to find a new Tenderloin location for the bar.

“We won’t be able to keep the Gangway in its exact location but we can hopefully recreate it in the same neighborhood,” said Allbee. “This bar has survived decades of anti-gay bigotry, police raids, and the HIV/AIDS crisis. We can’t just walk away from a business as important as the Gangway – this history is also vital to our future.”

Just after the Gangway closed, former owner Lee told the B.A.R. that Young, the new owner of the bar’s liquor licenses, had contacted him the day the bar closed with “no notice whatsoever” and told him he had to shut down that night. “I was really pissed off,” said Lee. “… All my staff was upset. My customers were upset.”

It appears that Young, who couldn’t be reached for comment, is being more helpful in efforts to save some of the bar’s history, though. He’s “generously offered to gift the Gangway business name and physical ephemera,” including the iconic boat perched over the door, to the new collective, according to the group working to move the bar.

“I grew up in San Francisco and I’m supportive of this history being preserved. I hope it can be successfully reopened in another location someday,” said Young in Thursday’s news release.

Allbee stated that the collective is asking the community for three things: “Investors who want to be part of the Gangway Collective, contractors who can help us work quickly to dismantle the historic interior and exterior elements of the bar, and any leads on storage space and a new space for the bar in the Tenderloin” he stated in Thursday’s news release.

Young has already started paying rent, so a temporary home for items from the bar ahs to be found quickly, the group said.

The city’s workforce development office had worked with Lee to find buyers interested in preserving elements of the bar, and it will support the collective.

Joaquin Torres, the agency’s deputy director, stated that it’s “proud of the support we were able to provide for community members seeking to save the Stud, and we are happy to step in again to support community members as they endeavor to preserve and relocate the Gangway.”

— Seth Hemmelgarn, February 8, 2018 @ 2:16 pm PST
Filed under: Uncategorized

Ex-basketball coach to get 50 years in child molestation case

Julio Edgardo Ortiz (Photo: San Mateo County Sheriff's Department)

Julio Edgardo Ortiz (Photo: San Mateo County Sheriff’s Department)

A former Bay Area elementary school basketball coach accused of orally copulating a 14-year-old boy and victimizing three other children is set to be sentenced to 50 years in prison after pleading no contest in the case Tuesday.

As part of a plea deal, Julio Edgardo Ortiz, 37, pleaded to 11 felony counts of child molestation and sexual assault. The charges include sexual molestation, lewd acts on a child by force or fear, lewd acts on a child under 14 years old, contacting a minor to request child pornography, and digital sexual penetration of an adult woman by force or fear. Last week, Ortiz pleaded no contest to misdemeanor drunk driving.

A judge granted prosecutors’ motion to dismiss counts of misdemeanor drunk driving, felony child endangerment, and driving on a suspended license. Ortiz is set to be sentenced March 2. Before reaching the deal with prosecutors, he had faced the possibility of a life sentence.

The trial in the case had already been underway for five days when the resolution was reached.

Ortiz, a former Redwood City elementary school basketball coach, was arrested after a California Highway Patrol officer spotted his parked car with the engine running at 11:15 p.m. September 18, 2015 at Vista Point #3 off Highway 280. When the officer checked the car, he allegedly saw Ortiz orally copulating the boy, whom Ortiz had met while coaching him two years earlier, San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said in a summary of the case. Ortiz allegedly was under the influence at the time of his arrest.

Since initial reports in the case, at least three other victims have come forward. A jury trial had been set but after another victim came forward, the original case was dismissed.

Ortiz is currently in custody at Redwood City’s Maple Street Correctional Center.

Wagstaffe has previously indicated that in addition to the September 2015 incident, Ortiz had also been involved with victims from January 2013 to March 2014.

— Seth Hemmelgarn, February 7, 2018 @ 4:42 pm PST
Filed under: Uncategorized

Man injured in Castro fight

A 51-year-old man was injured early Wednesday morning during a fight in the Castro district.

According to police, the 1:20 a.m. incident started when the victim “got into a verbal argument” with three men in the 4000 block of 18th Street. The suspects started fighting with their fists and feet, and the victim got hurt.

The suspects, who are all in their early 20s, fled in a vehicle.

The victim was taken to a hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

— Seth Hemmelgarn, @ 2:36 pm PST
Filed under: Uncategorized

Leno to take over old Castro Pottery Barn space for mayoral HQ

Gay San Francisco mayoral candidate Mark Leno has secured his campaign headquarters in the heart of the Castro – the old Pottery Barn space at 2390 Market Street.

(Mayoral candidate Mark Leno, center, stands in the former Pottery Barn space with campaign staffers. Photo: Courtesy Leno for Mayor campaign)

(Mayoral candidate Mark Leno, center, stands in the former Pottery Barn space with campaign staffers. Photo: Courtesy Leno for Mayor campaign)

In an email announcement Friday afternoon, Leno said that he was excited to open his campaign office in the gay neighborhood.

“Thirty-seven years ago, I made a home in District 8,” Leno stated. “I got my start as a community volunteer, raising money to help fight HIV and AIDS. And like so many of us, I lost the love of my life here to HIV. Harvey Milk ran his historic campaign on the corners of these streets, inspiring generations to follow in his footsteps.”

He went on to say that his campaign to “shake up” City Hall “is ready to hit the streets with our message of change.”

Leno said that people who want to volunteer for his campaign are welcome to stop by the headquarters weekdays between 10 a.m. and 8 p.m., and weekends from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The announcement comes just before the first mayoral debate Saturday, February 3. The United Democratic Club debate will feature Leno, former supervisor Angela Alioto, Board of Supervisors President London Breed, District 6 Supervisor Jane Kim, and queer nonbinary Democrat Amy Farah Weiss. It takes place from 4 to 5:30 p.m. in the Koret Auditorium at the main library, 100 Larkin Street. John Diaz of the San Francisco Chronicle will moderate.

The Bay Area Reporter, Horizons Foundation, and KQED will host a mayoral debate March 19 at the Castro Theatre. For more information on that, see

— Cynthia Laird, February 2, 2018 @ 4:33 pm PST
Filed under: Uncategorized

Man arrested in Castro assault

Emile Jenkins (Photo: San Francisco Police Department)

Emile Jenkins (Photo: San Francisco Police Department)

A 45-year-old man was arrested Thursday night after attacking another man in San Francisco’s Castro district.

Police said that at about 8:30 p.m. near Market and Church streets, the suspect punched the victim, 38, who fell to the ground.

Officers arrived at the scene and arrested the suspect, whom police have identified as Emile Jenkins, of San Francisco.

Jenkins was booked into custody on suspicion of aggravated assault with force likely to produce great bodily injury, battery causing serious bodily injury, being a felon in possession of pepper spray, and for an outstanding felony warrant. The warrant is from violating probation in Solano County. He’s being held in San Francisco County Jail #2 without bond. An arraignment date hasn’t been set.

The victim was taken to a hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

In a jailhouse interview late Friday afternoon, Jenkins said that the incident started when he was walking near the Safeway in the Castro and heard another man keep saying the N-word.

“He was talking to somebody else, but he was looking at me,” said Jenkins. “I thought he was talking to me. I asked him if he was saying it to me.”

The man said that he wasn’t, and briefly stopped saying it, but then started again.

“I can say whatever I want to say. … What are you going to do about it?” Jenkins said the man asked him.

Jenkins said he punched the man, but he didn’t know where the blow hit him. He walked away immediately after hitting the man, he said, and he couldn’t recall much about the victim except that he was white, bald, and had tattoos.

Sacramento County Superior Court criminal records indicate that Jenkins had several cases there since at least 2005.

He said Friday that those incidents include a 2013 vandalism arrest that stemmed from a fight he had with his two sons.

In March 2014, when he was an inmate at North Kern State Prison in Delano, California, Jenkins filed a civil rights claim in federal court against the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department. He wrote that deputies had kicked and punched him the previous fall after he kicked and shattered the window of a patrol vehicle while he was being placed inside of it.

The sheriff’s department denied Jenkins’ allegations, and the claim was eventually dismissed after he was paroled in June 2014 and failed to keep the court updated on his address, records show.

“I’m not a bad person,” Jenkins told the Bay Area Reporter. “Whatever people think about me, they can think about me.”

Jenkins, who said he was coming down with pneumonia and was fighting off sleep as he spoke, added, “I need help. I don’t have anybody on my side.”

— Seth Hemmelgarn, @ 12:27 pm PST
Filed under: Uncategorized

Trans SF woman faces ID theft charges

A transgender San Francisco woman is facing accusations of identity theft and other charges.

Anna Lopez, 30, is being held in San Francisco Jail #2 on $400,000 bail on felony counts of ID theft and misdemeanor counts of possession of burglary tools, giving false information to a police officer, and possession of tear gas, according to court records. She’s pleaded not guilty to all charges.

Lopez, who was booked into custody January 17, last year faced dozens of charges including felony ID theft and misdemeanor counts of buying or receiving stolen property, the records say. The charges appeared to stem from at least two incidents. It’s not clear from law enforcement records what the statuses of the old charges are, but documents indicate Lopez was on probation when she was booked earlier this month. She’s been ordered to stay 150 yards away from 2227 Filbert Street, which is an apartment building in the Marina district.

David Harrison, Lopez’s attorney, declined to discuss her case with the Bay Area Reporter.

In court Tuesday, Superior Court Judge Braden Woods read a progress report from the jail’s Five Keys Charter School program that said Lopez is “doing good in all her classes.”

“Thank you very much for the hard work,” he told her.

Outside the courtroom, Michael Vejraska, 69, a friend of Lopez’s, said she’s “one of the transgenders that’s fallen through the cracks, partially by the system’s measure, and partially by her own measure.”

Vejraska said Lopez is “always on the verge of making a breakthrough to a legitimate life,” but she’s continued to struggle.

Among other problems, he said, Lopez was arrested about a year ago for mail theft, and she’s spent time at Walden House, which provides substance abuse and mental health treatment.

“I feel for her,” said Vejraska. “I know she has it in her soul to reform. I definitely know that.”

Lopez’s next court date is February 16 to hear prosecutors’ motion to consolidate her old and new cases.

Police declined to release Lopez’s booking photo, saying in an email that doing so “may endanger successful completion of the investigation.”

While Vejraska said that Lopez’s preferred first name is “Anna,” she’s been referred to in court and listed in jail and court records with the first name “Gabriel.”

— Seth Hemmelgarn, January 31, 2018 @ 6:17 pm PST
Filed under: Uncategorized

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