(NewsNation) — Just one week after the still-unsolved fatal stabbing of Cash App founder and tech executive Bob Lee, another attack is grabbing residents’ attention.
Video obtained by NewsNation local affiliate KRON shows a man swinging a metal pipe at former San Francisco Fire Commissioner Don Carmignani. The man ended up hitting Carmignani, 53, multiple times, leaving him with a fractured skull and jaw, resulting in hospitalization and surgery.
Carmignani says the incident started after he went to his mother’s house, where three men had set up an encampent, and asked them to leave.
Garret Allen Doty, 24, was 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, KRON reported.
However, Doty’s public defender, Kleigh Hathaway, told reporters her client was actually defending himself from a “pepper-spray assault” by Carmignani, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
“My understanding at this preliminary point is that Mr. Carmignani came upon my client and threatened him and then pepper sprayed him with a big can of pepper spray,” Hathaway said, per The Chronicle. Hathaway cited evidence she had reviewed so far from the District Attorney’s Office.
The Chronicle, as well as other local media outlets, noted that San Francisco has similar violent crime rates to cities with comparable populations.
However, much attention has been placed on crime in San Francisco, especially after Lee’s stabbing death on April 4. Citing safety concerns, Whole Foods recently announced that it is temporarily closing its flagship San Francisco store, just a year after it opened, the San Francisco Standard first reported.
“It’s almost a ghost town, and that’s leading to further closure of the small businesses around the area that cater to the employees that are no longer there,” Richie Greenberg, a San Francisco resident and community activist, said.
And responding to crime has the San Francisco Police Department overstretched. The department has about 1,600 sworn officers, with a staffing shortfall of over 500. Last year, the city saw a 121% jump in overtime costs.
San Francisco Mayor London Breed had to budget over $27 millon in city dollars to cover that extra time.
Two San Francisco supervisors are pushing a plan to have the city’s police department fully staffed by 2028.
However, recruitment has been a challenge for departments in all major cities.
NewsNation local affiliate KRON and digital producer Cassie Buchman contributed to this report.