A man pleaded not guilty this week to assault and hate crime accusations after he allegedly punched a gay man outside the bar Esta Noche.
Rodolfo Navarro, 30, entered a plea of not guilty Wednesday, September 26 in San Francisco Superior Court to felony charges of assault with force likely to cause great bodily injury, criminal threats, and battery, records show. Each of the counts also carries an allegation that Navarro committed a hate crime because of the victim’s sexual orientation.
Navarro, who denied the allegations, also pleaded not guilty to a misdemeanor charge of violating the victim’s civil rights.
In the Sunday, September 23 incident, Navarro allegedly attacked several gay men in front of the popular gay Mission district bar, located at 3079 16th Street, and punched one of them in the face.
Wednesday, Judge Richard Ulmer Jr. set Navarro’s bail at $100,000 and ordered that he stay away from the other man, whom the Bay Area Reporter isn’t naming because he’s the victim of an alleged hate crime.
Deputy Public Defender Michelle Tong, who represented Navarro at his arraignment, didn’t respond to an interview request late Friday afternoon, September 28. Assistant District Attorney Victor Hwang is prosecuting the case.
A preliminary hearing, when a judge will determine whether there is enough evidence to proceed to a trial, is set for Wednesday, October 10.