Issue:  Vol. 48 / No. 3 / 18 January 2018

Diaz missing counseling appointments, curfew

David Diaz in his 2016 booking photo. (Photo: SFPD)

David Diaz in his 2016 booking photo. (Photo: San Francisco Police Department)

David Munoz Diaz, the San Francisco resident who since 2014 has been acquitted of murdering another man during a sexual encounter, accused of disfiguring another man, and charged with arson in a separate case, has been having problems on probation, a recent court appearance revealed.

In March, retired Superior Court Judge Donna Hitchens sentenced Diaz, 28, to five years probation after he pleaded guilty to false imprisonment in the disfigurement case in exchange for assault and other counts being dismissed. Hitchens warned him that a violation “no matter how minor will result in a prison term.”

Among other conditions, Diaz was ordered to adhere to get mental health counseling, adhere to a midnight curfew, and wear an ankle monitor for up to one year.

At a Friday, December 29 court appearance Assistant District Attorney Andrew Clark objected to Deputy Public Defender Rebecca Young’s request for Diaz’s ankle monitor to be removed early.

Diaz has “disengaged with his mental health clinician,” said Clark. “He has stopped going to his appointments and is on the brink of being dropped.” He’s also had nine curfew violations, said Clark.

Young acknowledged that a probation officer’s report included curfew violations, but she said that each time he’d been “less than 10 minutes” late, and his tardiness was caused by his work schedule. Diaz has two jobs, including one at a South of Market pizzeria, she said.

She added that on Thanksgiving night, he was late because he’d been in the hospital.

Reading from report, Young said that Diaz has been reporting to probation consistently, is working three to four days a week, has “stable housing” in the South of Market neighborhood, has cut back on his drinking “considerably,” and has paid $1,000 of restitution.

Diaz’s probation officer stated Diaz’s progress has been “mediocre,” but Young repeatedly said it should be considered “excellent.” She said that it’s rare that she’s had a client who’s been as consistent on probation as him.

Superior Court Judge Christopher Hite said that much of the report indicated Diaz’s progress has been “better than mediocre,” but he said he’s concerned that there was a violation in November from Diaz reportedly failing to charge his monitoring device.

Hite set a date of January 16 so that a probation officer can come to court to discuss Diaz’s case.

Outside the courtroom Friday, Diaz said that he’d been hospitalized in November because he was injured when “somebody tried to steal my car. Two guys tried to beat me up” and stole his phone.

He said police had investigated the incident, which occurred near Seventh and Howard streets. The Bay Area Reporter hasn’t found information from police to confirm that.

Diaz’s probation sentence stemmed from a November 29, 2016 incident in which police said he handcuffed and bit a chunk out of another man’s scalp while impersonating a cop.

Prosecutors alleged that he’d cut and disabled the victim’s tongue, put out one of his eyes, and slit his “nose, ear, and lip.” Both men were hospitalized after the brawl.

Young has attributed Diaz’s problems to late night drinking. She’s also said that in the 2016 incident, he’d been defending himself.

Murder, arson cases

In 2014, Diaz stood trial for the June 2011 death of Freddy Canul-Arguello, 23, in Buena Vista Park. During the trial, Diaz testified that Canul-Arguello had asked to be choked during a sexual encounter and that he’d accidentally killed him.

Jurors acquitted Diaz of second-degree murder but convicted him of involuntary manslaughter, among other charges. He was released in September 2014.

In 2015, Diaz was arrested again for allegedly starting fires in the Castro district. He pleaded guilty in August 2016 to possessing an incendiary device and a count of second-degree burglary. He was released in September after being sentenced to a year of mandatory supervision and being ordered to register as an arsonist for life, among other terms.

— Seth Hemmelgarn, January 3, 2018 @ 5:35 pm PST
Filed under: Uncategorized

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