San Francisco police have identified a person of interest in the August 2014 death of Bryan “Feather” Higgins, 31, the gay man who died after being attacked in the Duboce Triangle neighborhood.
A source told the Bay Area Reporter the name of the man he believes hit Higgins near 100 Church Street August 10. Higgins died three days later at San Francisco General Hospital after his family had him taken off life support.
In an email exchange, San Francisco Police spokesman Officer Albie Esparza confirmed that the man is a “person of interest” in the case but expressed concern that naming the man might compromise the investigation. The man is “not a suspect,” said Esparza.
“We are waiting still on the results of the medical examiner’s autopsy to see if it’s a homicide,” he said. “We have to wait for the cause officially.”
It could be months before the medical examiner’s office publicly releases its report on Higgins’ death.
Several days after the attack, police released a video that they say shows a man chasing Higgins across Church and starting to assault him. John Stone, who said he witnessed the attack, told the B.A.R. in August that Higgins had been antagonizing people nearby just before the incident.
Facebook photos of the man identified as a person of interest appear to match the man in the video footage.
Brian Busta, 50, a friend and neighbor of Higgins, has said hours before he was attacked, Higgins had been dealing with “medical issues.”
The day before the incident, Higgins had been “getting too out of hand” and “running around like a cat in a cage.” He said police were called twice “so we could get Feather into General [Hospital].” However, he said, police had said they couldn’t do anything unless Higgins was a danger to himself or others.
Higgins was part of the Radical Faerie community and was also known as Feather Lynn.
Jerry Deal, 38, a friend of Higgins’, said shortly after his death, “He was the kindest, gentlest, freest spirit I’ve ever met, and I’ve been blessed to have amazing friends.”
Anyone with information in the case may call the police department’s anonymous tip line at (415) 575-4444, or text a tip to 847411 and type SFPD, then the message. The incident number is 140 665 807.