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

Update: Man arrested on robbery, assault charges after Trigger brawl

An Oakland man was arrested early Wednesday morning, September 21, after a brawl at San Francisco’s Trigger club in which he allegedly robbed one woman and punched another.

Cortez Whitfield, 24, (seen at left) is in San Francisco County Jail. Police booked him on felony charges of second-degree robbery and assault with a deadly weapon likely to cause great bodily injury. The District Attorney’s office doesn’t appear to have charged him yet.

According to police, officers arrived at the Castro area venue, 2344 Market Street, at about 1:15 a.m. Wednesday. A woman told them that she and Vanessa Anderson, 25, both of Daly City, had been on the ground floor when a large fight broke out near them.

The woman said that during the incident she became distracted and felt someone reach into her front pocket. She told police that she looked up and saw a man she later identified as Whitfield.

She punched him in the face twice, she told police, and Whitfield punched her three to four times. After being punched, she fell to the floor and curled up to protect herself, she said.

Whitfield then kicked her in the face repeatedly as she lay on the ground, the woman told officers. Security broke up the fight and escorted her outside, where she called police. Paramedics were called but she refused treatment.

Anderson told police that when the fight broke out near her and the woman, she felt someone remove her iPhone from her back pocket. She said that when she turned around, she saw Whitfield trying to reach into the woman’s pocket. Anderson also said she saw Whitfield punch the woman before he disappeared inside the club. She later told officers that Whitfield had hit her, too.

When the woman pointed Whitfield out to officers outside the club minutes later, he said that he hadn’t done anything, according to the incident report police provided to the Bay Area Reporter. Anderson also identified Whitfield as the suspect.

Police eventually searched Whitfield, but they didn’t find Anderson’s phone on him. He told them that he’d left the club after witnessing the initial fight and had been waiting for a friend to pick him up when the woman identified him.

Whitfield indicated in his written statement that several other men in the bar matched his description and said that the woman had been “hella” drunk.

He added, “I Cortez R. Whitfield will not hit a girl never did never will don’t matter how up set I get (sic).”

After police handcuffed Whitfield and placed him in the back of their patrol car, Tyana Labranch, 23, of Oakland, told an officer that she’d been with Whitfield most of the night on the club’s second floor. She said that she’d seen the fight downstairs, which included “lots of pushing and shoving,” and she’d seen a woman matching the woman’s description get pushed to the ground. Labranch said that Whitfield had been with her and wasn’t involved in the fight.

Police weren’t able to find other witnesses, and Trigger security personnel told them that the club’s surveillance system doesn’t record “and can only be viewed in real time.”

(This post is an updated version of a story that appeared Wednesday, September 21.)

— Seth Hemmelgarn, September 22, 2011 @ 11:31 pm PST
Filed under: Uncategorized

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