Issue:  Vol. 48 / No. 12 / 22 March 2018

Alleged carjacker’s identity confuses authorities

Antoine Dilworth (Photo: San Francisco Police Department)

The identity of a man accused of carjacking another man that he met in the Castro this summer continues to confuse authorities, a San Francisco Superior Court hearing this week showed.

Antoine Dilworth, 28, was arrested in July shortly after he allegedly stabbed a man he’d met near the bar Badlands, 4121 18th Street, and took his car. Dilworth has pleaded not guilty to felony carjacking and assault charges.

When he was arrested, Dilworth gave officers someone else’s name, and days later, police provided the Bay Area Reporter with a booking photo and other information that matched the other man, not Dilworth. Once his true identity was discovered, the B.A.R. corrected its initial story and is no longer using the other man’s name.

However, Dilworth’s initial effort to deceive police is still throwing off some people involved in the case.

During his preliminary hearing in October, Erin Crane, Dilworth’s attorney, repeatedly used the other man’s name to refer to her client, who was sitting a few feet away from her. Assistant District Attorney Tinnetta Thompson, the prosecutor handling the case that day, didn’t make the mistake.

After the hearing, Judge Richard Ulmer Jr. ruled there was sufficient evidence for Dilworth to stand trial on the charges against him. He was supposed to appear in court for his arraignment Tuesday, November 6.

But when it was time for the hearing, bailiffs brought out someone who doesn’t resemble Dilworth and apparently has the other man’s name.

“They brought the wrong man,” Crane said. She said that Dilworth has aliases and added, “I represent the real Antoine Dilworth, who is not here.”

Crane; Judge Newton Lam; Assistant District Attorney Donna Lee; and the bailiffs then spent several minutes trying to figure out how the other man had ended up there.

One bailiff said Dilworth isn’t in custody.

Lam, who already appeared irritated after mishaps that had occurred in other cases Tuesday morning, seemed to find the situation hard to believe.

“You did a prelim on the guy,” he told Crane. He noted that Dilworth is being held on $100,000 bail and said, “There’s got to be somebody in custody.”

Court records indicate that the mix-up was soon sorted out. According to the documents, Dilworth appeared later Tuesday and entered not guilty pleas to both charges.

A pretrial conference date was set for December 18. A trial date of January 18 has also been scheduled.

The other man’s name still appears on the original July complaint and in other records, with no indication that it’s an alias. A complaint containing charges that were added in recent weeks bears Dilworth’s name.

Captain Kathy Gordwood, a spokeswoman for the sheriff’s department, said Friday, November 9 that an inmate matching Dilworth’s birthdate and charges is in custody under the other man’s name.

Besides the $100,000 bail for the carjacking charge, Dilworth’s also being held without bail for a felony motion to revoke probation, which means even if he had the money, he wouldn’t be able to bail out of custody.

Asked if she had any record of Dilworth, she would only say that she could confirm the inmate was booked in as the other man.

Court documents show Dilworth’s criminal history goes back to at least 2003 and includes previous charges of carjacking, commercial burglary, identity theft, and possession of methamphetamine.

— Seth Hemmelgarn, November 10, 2012 @ 8:51 pm PST
Filed under: Uncategorized

Gay man pleased by accused attacker’s acquittal

A gay Castro area business owner said this week that he’s pleased a jury acquitted a man accused of beating him in a February 2011 incident.

Antonio Herico in a Facebook photo downloaded by the B.A.R. in February 2011

The San Francisco Public Defender’s office announced that a jury deliberated one day before acquitting Antonio Herico, 23, of charges including assault Monday, November 5.

In an interview Friday, November 9, Anthony Limitiaco, 50, who owns the Industrialists, 2201 Market Street, said, “If he was acquitted, I think the jury made a good decision. I’ll be honest with you, because what happened here is it wasn’t Mr. Herico’s mouth that was going off, it was his friend’s mouth that was going on.”

The incident started when Herico and Pio Alexander Garcia, 23, were passing the high-end furnishings shop around 3:15 p.m., February 13, 2011, after Herico had apparently gotten drunk on mimosas at the now-shuttered Lime, 2247 Market Street. (A February 2011 Bay Area Reporter story about the case listed Garcia’s name as Alexander Luis Garcia.)

According to a news release from the public defender’s office, Herico threw up in front of the store, directly beneath a sign that said, “Take a dump here you will live but live to regret it.”

The news release says Limitiaco rushed out and yelled profanities at the men. As Herico kept vomiting, Garcia and Limitiaco “engaged in a loud argument, with Garcia hurling anti-gay slurs.”

Deputy Public Defender Danielle Harris presented surveillance video at the three-day trial that, according to her office, shows Limitiaco grabbing a metal pole from his store and then swinging at Herico and Garcia as they walked away. He hit Herico on the side of the head, leaving him with a lemon-size hematoma, according to the statement.

Limitiaco said the men hit him, and he asked them to leave. (At first, he also said that both men had called him names, but then said that Herico hadn’t engaged in the name-calling.) Limitiaco said they argued with him, and he went inside the shop to get an electrical pole, which was “too light” to do any damage.

He said one of the men hit him from behind, and he hit Garcia with the pipe.

“[Garcia] was the main one with the mouth, calling me ‘faggot’ and everything. He was the one that started the whole thing,” Limitiaco said.

The B.A.R. viewed the video, which is from inside the store and shows Herico and Garcia walking by. A few moments after they’re out of view, Limitaco leaves the shop, then returns seconds later, retrieves a thin, medium-length pole, and exits again.

Soon, the video, which is silent, shows Limitiaco, empty-handed, running down the street with Herico chasing after and hitting him.

The footage then shows Garcia and Limitiaco entering the store with Garcia striking the shop owner multiple times and Herico entering behind them. After a few moments, Herico breaks items in what authorities describe as an attempt to break the fight, and gets Garcia off of Limitiaco. Garcia returns to grappling with Limitiaco, however, before Herico separates them again after striking the merchant in the head.

According to the public defender’s office, jurors heard a recording of Limitiaco falsely telling a 911 dispatcher that the men had a gun.

Herico and Garcia were charged with assault with force likely to cause great bodily injury and burglary, along with hate crime allegations. Herico was also charged with felony vandalism.

Herico’s hate crime and burglary charges were apparently thrown out before trial. He’d faced up to four years in state prison if convicted.

Garcia reached a plea deal with prosecutors last year. His attorney, Jonathan McDougall, didn’t respond to requests for comment late Friday.

In the news release from his office, Public Defender Jeff Adachi credited the surveillance video with Herico’s acquittal, stating that it “proved that Mr. Herico did not assault the shopkeeper. To the contrary, Mr. Herico was trying to be a peacemaker.”

Herico and Garcia couldn’t be reached for comment, but in a February 2011 Facebook post, shortly after he posted bail and was released from jail, Herico said, “What ever y’all might have heard, I love all people, races, genders and all sexual preferences what ever they may be. Were [sic] all children of god.”

Limitiaco, said he’d told the prosecutor, “I want this case to go away. I don’t want any of those young men put in jail. They have a life in front of them. I don’t want to ruin it for them.” He said Herico should have taken the district attorney’s offer of a plea deal, and he expressed concern about the costs of prosecuting the case.

“Who’s paying for that? It’s the city of San Francisco that’s paying for it,” he said.

Limitiaco said he had wanted the men to pay for the damages to merchandise, estimated at about $2,000, but he didn’t want them to have a felony on their record.

“It’s hard enough for them to get a job,” he said. “… You can call me a faggot. I am. That’s not a big deal.” The broken glass wasn’t worth the men’s “shattered lives,” he said.

Assistant District Attorney Victor Hwang, who prosecuted the case, said in an interview Friday that Herico was “clearly the lightweight” in the incident, and did try to stop the fight. He said that prosecutors had offered to drop the case in exchange for Herico doing community service and paying for damages.

Hwang acknowledged Limitiaco’s not wanting to pursue the case, but said, “I think society has an interest in prosecuting crimes in general, but hate crimes in particular.”

— Seth Hemmelgarn, @ 7:35 pm PST
Filed under: Uncategorized

Brinkin’s attorney mentions ‘potential resolution’

The attorney for gay rights advocate Larry Brinkin, who’s been charged with possession and distribution of child pornography, indicated today (Friday, November 9) that he’s seeking a deal with prosecutors.

Larry Brinkin, left, confers with attorney Randy Knox at a September court appearance in front of Superior Court Judge Richard Ulmer Jr. (Photo: Jane Philomen Cleland)

Randy Knox told San Francisco Superior Court Judge Richard Ulmer Jr. that he and Assistant District Attorney Leslie Cogan have been discussing a “potential resolution” in the case. Neither he nor Cogan elaborated during the hearing.

Asked outside the courtroom about what kind of resolution he had in mind, Knox quipped, “I need to quit smoking,” and declined to comment further.

Brinkin, 66, bailed out of custody shortly after his initial arrest in June and was in court for a status update Friday. He declined to comment on his case when approached before the hearing.

Knox entered a not guilty plea on Brinkin’s behalf at his arraignment in September.

The next court date is December 7 to discuss Knox’s motion to obtain a hard drive and other evidence from prosecutors.

Brinkin, an out gay man, was a compliance officer for the San Francisco Human Rights Commission for more than two decades before he retired in 2010. Court document include graphic descriptions of images that Brinkin allegedly viewed and comments he supposedly made about the pictures.

— Seth Hemmelgarn, November 9, 2012 @ 6:47 pm PST
Filed under: Uncategorized

DA extends bullying video deadline

San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón has extended the deadline for the “Bye Bye Bullying” video contest to 12 a.m., Friday, November 16.

Gascón launched the competition in October for the city’s middle and high school students to increase awareness about the effects of bullying. According to a news release from his office today (Thursday, November 8), the deadline was pushed back a week because the contest is “generating a lot of excitement from students all over the city.”

Those interested should submit a 60-second video that addresses one of the following themes: What bullying is, the effects of bullying, and effective ways to respond to bullying.

A panel of judges will evaluate the videos and winners will be announced December 4.

Prizes include 2013 San Francisco Giants tickets, a baseball signed by the Giants’ Barry Zito, and iPads.

The contest is part of Gascón’s anti-truancy initiative.

For more information, visit the DA’s website.

— Seth Hemmelgarn, November 8, 2012 @ 5:45 pm PST
Filed under: Uncategorized

Gay sheriff’s lieutenant headed to trial in domestic violence case

Vincent Calvarese (Photo: San Francisco Police Department)

An out gay San Francisco sheriff’s lieutenant accused of domestic violence is headed to trial after his attorney and prosecutors failed to reach a settlement.

Vincent Calvarese, 48, was arrested in July after an incident in which he allegedly followed the victim into the locker room at Gold’s Gym, 2301 Market Street, and struck him, pushed him against a wall, and punched him. He also told the other man, “I’m a captain. I can have you arrested,” according to court records.

Calvarese has pleaded not guilty to misdemeanor counts of domestic violence-related battery, assault with force likely to cause great bodily injury, and false imprisonment. He’s posted bail and was released from custody shortly after his arrest.

Thursday, November 1 in San Francisco Superior Court, Judge Susan Breall said, “This case is not going to settle” and set a January 3 hearing to determine a trial date.

Before Thursday’s session, Calvarese, who appeared in court, referred questions to Erin Dervin, his attorney. Outside the courtroom, Dervin said she and the defendant are “anxious to go to trial.” She said they didn’t settle the case because “Mr. Calvarese isn’t guilty. He didn’t do anything.”

The district attorney “has a misimpression of the facts in this case” and “the victim … the alleged victim, is a liar,” Dervin said. Asked what he’s lied about, she said, “About everything.”

During the incident, a couple of witnesses tried to hold back Calvarese, but he broke free and continued attacking the victim, who’s in his 30s and suffered welts and similar injuries, according to the district attorney’s office. Alex Bastian, a spokesman for the DA’s office, has said besides witnesses, there is also video evidence to support the charges.

In a follow-up interview today (Friday, November 2), Dervin said, “There are witnesses who saw the ending portion” of the incident, but not the beginning, and there’s no surveillance footage showing what happened in the locker room. (She said video recording isn’t permitted in that part of the gym.)

Whether the men even had a relationship is also being disputed. Court documents indicate that the victim claims he and Calvarese had an “exclusive” dating relationship.

But Dervin said, “There was no exclusive dating relationship” between the two men, and for this to be a case of domestic violence, they would have to have had “a romantic relationship of some sort.”

She said Calvarese and the victim had had a “sexual event” that would most accurately be described as “a one-night stand.”

The night of the incident at the gym, Calvarese had initially approached the victim because he was “concerned” about him and “the discussion went south,” Dervin said.

The victim “did not want to hear Mr. Calvarese’s concerns” and eventually spit on him and came after him, Dervin said. “Mr. Calvarese defended himself,” she said.

According to the district attorney’s office, Calvarese is 6 feet 3 inches and weights 245 pounds, while the victim, whom the Bay Area Reporter is not identifying because he’s the victim of a crime, is 5 feet 7 inches and weighs 200 pounds.

Court records indicate that Calvarese, who’s still on the job, had sought to plead only to a misdemeanor charge of fighting in public. Dervin declined to discuss the settlement negotiations.

Assistant District Attorney Ilana Jacobs is prosecuting the case.

Calvarese’s boss, Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi, is serving probation after pleading guilty to a domestic violence-related charge earlier this year and, as noted by KGO-TV, District Attorney George Gascón is urging Mirkarimi to recuse himself from duties including disciplining personnel charged with domestic violence.

— Seth Hemmelgarn, November 2, 2012 @ 4:37 pm PST
Filed under: Uncategorized

Dems target gay CA House candidate’s race

Not only looking to re-elect President Barack Obama, Democrats have their eye on retaking the House next week. They need to pick up 25 seats to win back the majority, and they are targeting seven House races in California.

“In just 4 days, we can replace the Tea Party Congress with a Democratic House for President Obama!

 We need to pick up 25 seats to win the House — and it could all come down to too-close-to-call races in California,” read an email the party sent out Friday seeking volunteers for “a massive four-day Get Out The Vote effort.”

Among the candidates receiving extra help is gay education leader Mark Takano, who is seeking a House seat in Riverside County. He is in a tough campaign fight against his Republican opponent, Riverside County Supervisor John Tavaglione.

Should Takano, (seen at right flanked by state Senator Mark Leno at left and Mayor Ed Lee) who is Japanese American, pull out a victory, he would be the first LGBT person of color in Congress and the first out member of the Golden State’s congressional delegation.

Democrats also have their sights on re-electing Congressman John Garamendi (D-Fairfield) to the newly drawn 3rd Congressional District, which covers a vast geographic area that includes all or parts of Colusa, Glenn, Lake, Sacramento, Solano, Sutter, Yolo and Yuba counties.

Dr. Ami Bera is receiving help with his race for the state’s newly drawn 7th Congressional District in east Sacramento against Congressman Dan Lungren (R-Gold River). Raul Ruiz, an emergency room physician, will also see extra support as he tries to unseat Republican Congresswoman Mary Bono Mack (R-Palm Springs).

Candidates running for House seats in Modesto, San Diego, and Thousand Oaks are also receiving help over the next four days heading into the November 6 election.

Volunteers in San Francisco can sign up for shifts at the local Democratic Party’s campaign HQ in the Castro district at 2278 Market Street at Noe, which is the former Tower Records location.

Mayor Ed Lee will help kick off the local effort at 9 a.m. tomorrow (Saturday, November 3).



— Matthew S. Bajko, @ 2:41 pm PST
Filed under: Uncategorized

SF nudity ban won’t cover up buttocks, breasts

Chaps and other ass-less or ass-baring clothing will remain legal in San Francisco, even if city leaders adopt a ban on public nudity later this month.

As initially proposed by gay District 8 Supervisor Scott Wiener, the nudity ban would “prohibit display of genitals and buttocks in city plazas, parklets, sidewalks, streets, and public transit.” It would exempt city “permitted parades, fairs, and festivals” from having to adhere to the policy.

But after Wiener revealed his legislation last month, critics of the changes to the police code decried that men wearing chaps could face arrest while walking to any of the city’s leather bars.

Opponents of “Wiener’s law” also questioned if it would mean men baring their bottoms would no longer be able to ride Muni vehicles en route to fetish fairs in South of Market or parades like Pride.

At this morning’s (Thursday, November 1) Merchants of Upper Market and Castro meeting, Wiener disclosed that he had removed the word “buttocks” from his proposed ordinance.

“A lot of modern fashions show parts of people’s buttocks,” he said. “It was never my intention to outlaw chaps.”

He also explained that his legislation would not force women to cover their breasts in public.

“My code is very limited to genitals,” said Wiener. “A woman with her shirt off would not be violating the legislation.”

Currently, both the city’s port and park codes ban public nudity. In the remaining areas of the city, nudity has been tolerated as long as the person is not visibly aroused.

After city officials turned a portion of 17th Street near Market in the Castro into a public parklet, nudists have taken to congregating there on warm days. Their emergence has sparked a backlash, with complaints about lewd behavior and men sporting cock rings growing to a clamor in recent months.

Wiener has insisted he is not against nudity but is trying to address the concerns of his constituents. Nudists and their supporters retort that enforcing people to be clothed in public is an attack on civil liberties.

A majority of MUMC members voted to support the nudity ban during the meeting. Later a frustrated Hans Pfeifer, a MUMC board member and co-owner of Eros, stormed out upset with the business group’s decision to back the ban.

“So much for the Castro I knew,” said Pfeifer.

The dispute over the ban now moves to City Hall. Next week the Board of Supervisor’s City Operations and Neighborhood Services committee will vote on the measure before sending it to the full board.

The hearing will begin at 10 a.m. Monday, November 5 in Room 263 at City Hall.



— Matthew S. Bajko, November 1, 2012 @ 4:01 pm PST
Filed under: Uncategorized

Leather flag to fly no more above the Castro

The super-sized leather flag that has been raised every September for more than a decade in the Castro to kick-off Leather Week will fly no more.

Nor will any other flags, such as the bear and transgender flags, be flown on the flagpole at Harvey Milk Plaza in the city’s gayborhood as of January 1, 2013.

Members of the Merchants of Upper Market and Castro unanimously voted at their meeting this morning (Thursday, November 1) to no longer alter the 20 by 30 foot rainbow flag that flies above the public plaza.

“Our board cannot vet the flag,” said MUMC President Terry Asten Bennet. “We are a business organization and not in the business of managing the flag.”

The vote this morning came after years of debate over MUMC’s oversight of the flagpole and how it has handled requests to lower the rainbow flag or fly other groups’ flags.

Since it was dedicated on November 7, 1997 to mark the 20th anniversary of Milk’s election to the Board of Supervisors, the over-sized rainbow flag has become an internationally recognized icon for the LGBT community. MUMC, which pays for the insurance and maintenance of the flagpole, assumed oversight of it in 2000, and the Castro Street Fair has paid for new flags each year since 2002.

The flag has remained flying at full-staff, except for on a few occasions, over the last 15 years. It has been lowered to half-staff a handful of times to honor LGBT leaders who had died.

In 2001 the leather flag was raised as a way to draw tourists back to San Francisco following the terrorist attacks on 9/11 that year. It has been raised every year since on the Sunday prior to Folsom Street Fair.

In 2011 the bear flag was first flown in February over President’s Day Weekend to mark the end of the International Bear Rendezvous and was also flown this year when a smaller bear event was launched.

Since 2011 a group of local activists has questioned why MUMC gets to decide when to lower the flag. In an attempt to answer its critics, MUMC detailed a process for how people could make such requests.

But the controversy did not abate, and earlier this year, the Castro business group’s board decided to no longer lower the rainbow flag to half-staff. It cited security concerns as the main reason behind its decision.

The most recent controversy erupted over MUMC’s handling of a request to raise the transgender flag for the first time on November 20, which is the Transgender Day of Remembrance.

At first MUMC’s board denied the request because it also included having the transgender flag flown at half-staff. The decision led to an online firestorm, charges that the business group was being transphobic, and calls by some to boycott Bennett’s family-owned store Cliff’s Variety.

Veronika Fimbres, a transgender woman who asked that the transgender flag be flown, blamed MUMC’s leadership for the heated dispute that erupted over her request.

“It shouldn’t have been a big deal or taken two months for MUMC to respond,” said Fimbres during the meeting today. “All I did was put a petition online. I wasn’t being disrespectful of anybody.”

The public outcry led MUMC to agree to fly the transgender flag at full-staff for 24 hours later this month. Bennet, who apologized to Fimbres at the meeting, cited a breakdown in communication  as the reason for how the request was handled.

MUMC had intended to wait until next year to address the flagpole. But with the continued questioning about its oversight of it, the group’s board decided to have the membership vote on whether to just fly the rainbow flag or hand oversight of the flagpole back to the city.

Theresa Sparks, executive director of the city’s Human Rights Commission, said her agency had been working with the City Attorney’s office to review the legalities around the flagpole. Sparks advised MUMC that it was unclear what would happen should the city be asked to take over the flagpole.

While the flagpole was commissioned by the city’s Arts Commission and created by Gilbert Baker, who also created the rainbow flag, having a city agency oversee it could open up the possibility of seeing numerous groups want to see various flags be flown, said Sparks.

“It is not an easy issue to deal with,” said Sparks, citing complications that could arise over freedom of speech granted by the First Amendment. “I am not sure what could happen to opening it to other flags.”

District 8 Supervisor Scott Wiener, asked about rumors that the city would take down the flagpole due to monetary constraints, said it was unclear where the funding would come from if MUMC did not support it.

Ultimately, the proposal that MUMC relinquish its control and turn the flagpole back to the city was rejected.

Instead, the members adopted a policy requiring that the rainbow flag be flown at full-staff 365 days a year. Since it does not take effect until the New Year, the transgender flag will be flown on November 20 and a red ribbon will be attached to the rainbow flag on December 1 to mark World AIDS Day.

Unless MUMC revisits the issue, those will be the last two times the flagpole display will be altered.

— Matthew S. Bajko, @ 12:37 pm PST
Filed under: Uncategorized

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