Issue:  Vol. 48 / No. 7 / 15 February 2018

Trans woman denies fatally throwing dog from SF parking garage

Wakeen Best (Photo: SFPD)

Wakeen Best (Photo: SFPD)

The transgender woman accused of throwing a Chihuahua to its death this weekend pleaded not guilty in the case Wednesday afternoon.

Wakeen J. Best, 34, of San Francisco, is charged with animal abuse, second-degree burglary, and other counts in the February 10 incident in which she allegedly broke into a car on the seventh floor of a Financial District parking garage, grabbed Dunky, a 4-year-old tan and black Chihuahua, and tossed the dog to the ground below.

Police said that at about 2 p.m. Saturday, officers responded to an auto burglary involving a dead dog in the 400 block of Stockton Street.

The victim had returned to the spot to find someone waiting with Dunky at the corner of Sutter and Stockton Streets. He initially thought the dog had escaped from his vehicle and fallen.

When the victim went to his car, he discovered someone had broken in. Broken glass and blood was throughout the vehicle. His glove compartment had also been rummaged through, police said.

Officers found a trail of blood leading to the ledge where Dunky had been thrown onto the street and obtained dash camera footage that captured Best on video and audio of the crime happening, according to police. Officers immediately recognized her from prior contacts and went to arrest her as Animal Care and Control came to take Dunky.

Dunky (Photo: SFPD)

Dunky (Photo: SFPD)

At 9:51 a.m. Sunday, a sergeant from Central Station spotted Best near Polk and Bush streets. She was arrested and booked into jail on felony charges of animal cruelty, burglary, grand theft, possession of stolen property, carrying a concealed weapon, vandalism, and a probation violation. Best was also booked on misdemeanor charges of possession of burglary tools, possession of drug paraphernalia, and violation of a court order.

At Best’s arraignment Wednesday, Superior Court Judge Braden Woods set bail in the case at $85,000. However, the prosecutor in the case filed a motion to revoke Best’s probation on a previous burglary case, so Best wouldn’t be able to post bail in either case.

The prosecutor also requested that if Best did post bail, she have “no contact with animals of any kind.”

Outside the courtroom, Deputy Public Defender Alexandra Pray said that she’s only spoken to Best “briefly,” and she’s just received evidence in the case. However, she hasn’t obtained video from the incident.

Pray told reporters the allegations are “totally out of character” for Best, and “It’s hard to believe she would intentionally hurt an animal.”

Besides several burglary counts, court records show that Best’s criminal history also includes robbery and drug-related charges.


— Seth Hemmelgarn, February 13, 2018 @ 5:05 pm PST
Filed under: Uncategorized

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