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

Woman accused of robbing Wiener set for hearing

The San Francisco woman accused of recently robbing gay Supervisor Scott Wiener is due in court Thursday, January 7 for a preliminary hearing.

Lasonya D. Wells, 41, faces counts of second-degree robbery, grand theft, and attempted extortion, among other charges. She’s been in custody since her December 18 arrest. A judge is expected Thursday to determine whether there’s enough evidence to hold her for trial.

According to police, the incident occurred at about 5:45 p.m. December 18 as Wiener, 45, was walking in the Mission district. The District 8 supervisor told officers that Wells had taken his cellphone, but he’d “negotiated” with her to get it back in exchange for cash.

Wells and two other suspects escorted Wiener to an ATM, where she demanded that he give her cash, Officer Carlos Manfredi, a police spokesman, said in a news release.

Wiener withdrew cash and gave it to Wells, who gave back his phone “through a third party. All suspects subsequently fled the scene,” Manfredi said.

Police immediately canvassed the area for witnesses and evidence, Manfredi said, and “Mission Station investigators obtained evidence which led to the identity and arrest of Wells at her residence.”

Police haven’t released Wells’ booking photo. Manfredi didn’t immediately respond to an email today (Wednesday, January 6) asking whether there have been more arrests in the case.

Police didn’t name Wiener in their news release, but he shared a detailed account of the incident with San Francisco Magazine.

In a recent interview with the Bay Area Reporter, Wiener declined to comment on Wells’ prosecution.

“The process will play itself out,” he said.

However, the supervisor urged other people to be cautious when walking around carrying their phones.

“I think we all should try to minimize having our phones out, myself included. But with that said, it’s not realistic in modern life never to take your phone out in public,” Wiener said.

When his phone was “snatched,” he said, “I was looking at my calendar to see the address where I was going.” He reiterated people should have their phones out as little as possible, but said, “the more important thing is always to be aware of our surroundings.”

He said he’s walked through the intersection where the incident occurred “a million times. … We get very comfortable with our surroundings when we’ve been to a place a lot.”

Court documents indicate Wells has previously been charged with numerous other crimes, including robbery and drug charges.

Wells declined an interview request made through jail staff. A deputy public defender didn’t respond to a phone message requesting comment on Wells’ case.

Wiener has announced a public safety meeting for District 8 will be held Thursday, January 14 at 6 p.m. at St. Philip School, 725 Diamond Street.

He said last month that he wanted to have the meeting, which is separate from a hearing he’s hoping to schedule soon at City Hall.

The public safety meeting for January will look at property crimes and “discuss the situation, including ways to make our community safer and how to have strong communication between the police and the community,” he told the B.A.R. last month.


— Seth Hemmelgarn, January 6, 2016 @ 3:52 pm PST
Filed under: Uncategorized

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