A San Francisco man pleaded guilty this week to an anti-gay attack against another man who’d been walking down a Castro street.
Alejandro Bonilla, 35, pleaded guilty to a felony battery charge Wednesday, July 10 in San Francisco Superior Court in exchange for charges of assault with force likely to cause great bodily injury and possession of the drug Oxycontin being dismissed, court records show. The battery and assault charges carried allegations that Bonilla had committed a hate crime based on the victim’s sexual orientation.
Police said the victim and another man had been walking down 18th Street near Sanchez Street at about 4 p.m. May 19 when Bonilla approached them yelling, “Fuck you faggots” and “I hate faggots.” He clenched his fists, ran up to the man, and attacked him, according to police, who said the victim and the other man were a couple.
The victim suffered lacerations to his face and a broken pinky. Bonilla also tried to attack the other man, but he was able to defend himself, police said. Both victims are in their 20s. One is a San Francisco resident.
Bonilla pleaded not guilty to all three charges and denied the allegations at his May 22 arraignment, when his bail was set at $100,000, according to court documents.
His sentence is expected to include three years of probation with substance abuse and mental health counseling. If he complies with probation for 18 months and completes an anger management class he may petition the court to reduce the battery charge to a misdemeanor.
Superior Court Judge Monica Wiley has ordered Bonilla to stay away from the couple and keep at least 150 yards away from 18th and Noe streets.
Assistant District Attorney Victor Hwang prosecuted the case. Deputy Public Defender Seth Meisels, who didn’t respond to a request for comment, represented Bonilla.
Bonilla’s sentencing is set for July 31.
In an email, Sergeant Peter Shields, of the San Francisco Police Department’s Special Investigations Division, said he wanted to “reiterate and give praise to the witnesses, the first responding officers, Inspector Sue Bachman and [Hwang] for the arrest and successful conviction of Bonilla.” Bachman did the initial investigation and Shields completed it.