Issue:  Vol. 48 / No. 11 / 15 March 2018

Spate of hate crimes target gays


Defendant Kevin Guerin (Photo: Courtesy SFPD)
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A handful of anti-gay hate crime incidents have caught the attention of San Francisco law enforcement officials in recent weeks.

In the most recent case, the San Francisco Police Department is investigating an incident that occurred around 12:30 a.m., Saturday, October 15 at Taqueria Cancun, 2288 Mission Street.

Police spokesman Officer Carlos Manfredi said the victims went inside the taqueria to eat and were confronted by three men who told them to leave.

One of the suspects allegedly used an anti-gay slur, but Manfredi wouldn't say exactly what it was. There was then "a physical confrontation," he said, but he couldn't offer more details.

There were four victims, but Manfredi said one was injured more seriously than the others. The 25-year-old man's injuries included a laceration to the forehead, and he was transported to San Francisco General Hospital. Manfredi said the man, whose name he wouldn't disclose, is from San Francisco.

The primary victim, who responded to emailed questions from the Bay Area Reporter, offered an account that was different from what Manfredi said.

For example, the victim, who said he's gay but whom the B.A.R. is not naming, said there were more people involved. He said the only thing he remembers the suspects saying was, "Get out of our neighborhood." His friends heard the suspects say "faggot," he said. He also said that he was hit in the face several times.

No arrests have been made. Manfredi couldn't offer detailed descriptions of the suspects.

Witnesses can call the hate crimes unit at (415) 553-1133. The incident number is 110 830 676.

Attacks on roommate, brother

In another incident, Kevin Guerin, 57, has been accused of an anti-gay hate crime. He also faces several charges after allegedly attacking his brother with a power drill.

According to police, the first incident occurred October 4 in the 300 block of Seneca. The 47-year-old victim reported that after he asked Guerin how he was feeling, Guerin attacked him and said, "I'm going to kill you!"

The victim, Guerin's roommate, reported that Guerin said he was going to kill him "because of his sexual preference," according to a police summary.

"I think [Guerin] called him a fag," Ingleside Police Station Captain Daniel Mahoney said in an interview.

The San Francisco District Attorney's office charged Guerin with assault likely to cause great bodily injury and making criminal threats, both felonies. The charges carry allegations of a hate crime based on sexual orientation.

On October 11, San Francisco Superior Court Judge Y.S. Cheng lowered Guerin's bail, which had been set at $175,000, over the prosecutor's objection. He was released from custody.

Then, on October 15 in the 100 block of Judson Avenue, according to police, Guerin got into an argument with another victim, whom the DA's office has identified as his brother. Guerin said, "I'm going to kill you," and tried to drill a metal bit into his brother's forehead, but the bit fell off. He then hit the man in the face with the drill, according to police.

In that case, Guerin faces felony charges of assault with a deadly weapon, assault with force likely to cause great bodily injury, and battery with serious bodily injury.

The charges are accompanied by allegations related to causing great bodily injury and committing the crimes while he was out of custody on the other felony case.

Guerin's in custody in San Francisco County Jail. His next hearing for both cases is October 27 to set a date for a preliminary hearing. Attorney Anne Irwin, who's defending Guerin in both cases, didn't respond to interview requests.

Defendant Jeffrey Garcia Bascara (Photo: Courtesy SFPD)

Lesbians threatened on bus

Another alleged anti-gay incident occurred early this month when a man with a screwdriver threatened a lesbian couple. According to district attorney spokesman Omid Talai, the women were on a 14 Muni bus at about 7:30 a.m., Sunday, October 2, when Jeffrey Garcia Bascara, 36, of Daly City, boarded near Mission and 21st streets.

In Tagalog, he allegedly told the women something to the effect of, "I know you're lesbians. I will kill you," Talai said. The defendant and victims are all Filipino.

Bascara, who didn't know the women, then took a screwdriver out of his pocket and held it, but didn't raise it, Talai said. He couldn't say how Bascara knew the women were lesbians.

He said that one of the women called 911, and the bus stopped soon afterward. Police responded, got everybody off the bus, and eventually arrested Bascara. They found the screwdriver in his jacket pocket, Talai said. One woman lives in San Francisco, and the other lives in Daly City.

Bascara is charged with two felony counts of making criminal threats. Both counts carry allegations of use of a deadly weapon – the screwdriver – and of a hate crime based on sexual orientation. He's also charged with two felony counts of exhibiting a deadly weapon. Those counts also carry hate crime allegations. He pleaded not guilty October 4.

His preliminary hearing was Monday, October 17. Superior Court Judge Bruce Chan held Bascara to answer on all charges and allegations, meaning there's enough evidence to move forward to trial. His arraignment is set for Monday, October 31. He's in custody in San Francisco County jail.

Peter Santina, who's representing Bascara, said in an interview that Bascara's "never had a brush with the law. This whole case is an obvious misunderstanding. Mr. Bascara is innocent and, furthermore, he had no idea of [the women's] sexual orientation."

He declined a request to interview Bascara. Asked how his client's doing, Santina said, "He's never been accused of a crime before, so he's afraid."

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