Ex-SF fire commissioner assaulted with pipe in Marina District

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Former San Francisco Fire Commissioner Don Carmignani was assaulted by a man using a metal pipe. On April 5, 53-year-old Carmignani was struck, resulting in hospitalization and surgery. 

Garret Allen Doty, 24, has been arrested and charged with assault with a deadly weapon, aggravated battery with serious bodily injury, and assault with force likely to produce great bodily injury.

The assault was caught on video where Doty was seen swinging the pipe several times as Carmignani cowers in fear. After 45 seconds, Carmignani runs down the street and out of the camera’s vice. 35 seconds after that, Doty comes back into view, still carrying the metal pipe. 

According to the San Francisco Police Department, the incident happened on Magnolia Street at around 7:20 p.m. Carmignani’s father said the victim broke his jaw, has 50 stitches on his face, and underwent surgery to remove a piece of his skull. 

Carmignani said that his attacker was a homeless person who camping outside of his mother’s home the morning of the assault. 

He said he called 911 in the morning after seeing three homeless people camping out of the house. However, the individuals stayed throughout the day, consuming drugs and “had exhibited extremely aggressive behavior towards passersby.”

Carmignani shared a photo of the alleged subjects below.

Carmignani says that he asked the people to leave in the evening, and two of them “moved toward me in a threatening manner.” The suspect then took out the pipe and assaulted him “countless” times with it, he said.

“I understand how a violent attack like this can shake a community and I am committed to ensuring that the defendant is held accountable, so that we send the strongest message that violence like this is unacceptable,” said District Attorney Brooke Jenkins. “I am sending strength to the victim as he continues his recovery, and we will do everything in our power to seek justice for the victim and the community that has been traumatized.” 

Doty was arrested after the attack, but according to Carmignani, the two other individuals stayed in the hat. And one was even wearing his hat as a “trophy.” 

Read a full statement from Carmignani below:

On the morning of April 5, 2023, both my Mother and I called 911 to report that three homeless
individuals had set up an encampment at the entryway to her residence. My family has had prior
interactions with these individuals, who have made repeated threats of violence to my family
members. As a result, my Mother did not feel safe leaving her home.

To my knowledge, neither SFPD nor any of the City’s various homeless service providers
responded to our 911 calls that morning. Throughout that day, my Mother and girlfriend informed me that these individuals were still in front of her house, had been openly consuming drugs, and had exhibited extremely aggressive behavior towards passersby. That evening, I arrived at my Mother’s house and asked these individuals to leave. At that point, two of the individuals moved toward me in a threatening manner. The incident culminated with one of the individuals producing a piece of metal and striking me countless times on the head. I was transported to the hospital and underwent emergency surgery.

Sadly, I am not the first person to be victimized by these individuals, who are known criminals with a well-documented history of drug use, harassment of residents, and vandalism in the Marina. I recently learned that the City has continue to allow two of my attackers to remain in the vicinity of the incident. In fact, one of my attackers was seen near the scene of the attack, wearing my hat as a trophy, which fell off my head during the attack. This is unacceptable.

As a native San Franciscan and lifelong Marina District resident, I firmly believe that the City
needs to promote the safety of its law-abiding citizens over those who chose to do drugs and
commit violent acts in our streets. I am hopeful that this unfortunate incident will lead to policy
changes to better protect the interests of San Francisco residents and that my attackers will be fully prosecuted.

While it pains me to watch, I am attaching a video of my attack to this statement. I am also
attaching a photograph of my attackers sitting in front of my mother’s house, taken the morning of the attack, prior to the incident. My family and I are grateful for all the outreach and support we have received during this difficult time. While I expect to make a full recovery, I appreciate the general public’s respect for my privacy during my rehabilitation process. Thank you.


Charlene is a Bay Area journalist who hails from the small community of Fresno. Drawing from her experience writing for her college paper, Charlene continues to advocate for free press and local journalism. She also volunteers in all the beach cleanups she can because she loves the water.