Former San Francisco Fire Commissioner Don Carmignani was brutally assaulted in San Francisco’s Marina District Wednesday night. 48 hours before, tech executive Bob Lee was stabbed to death in the city. Many citizens in San Francisco are now demanding more measures be taken against criminals, as well as a greater police presence in the city as the summer tourist season nears.
Crime rates have continued to dramatically climb in San Francisco since the late 2010’s. City residents currently have a 1 in 186 chance each year in becoming a victim of a violent crime, with the city amongst the most dangerous in the country. Crime stories in the city were out of the national spotlight following the Union Square robberies of 2021. In the past year, rates in many crime categories even began to improve following the recall of DA Chesa Boudin and the removal of many of his crime reforms. However, city budget problems and a severe shortage of SFPD officers has led to a renewed resurgence of crime, with the prominent attacks on Lee and Carmignani thrusting San Francisco’s crime problem back on the national stage.
Early Tuesday morning, Cash App Founder and MobileCoin CPO Bob Lee was stabbed to death in the Rincon Hill neighborhood. While details have not been released, it is known that Lee was stabbed in the early morning hours of Tuesday, was moving around clutching his side, implored some bystanders for help, and finally collapsed in the Rincon Hill neighborhood near the financial district and Google headquarters. While released security video footage has confirmed these details, no suspect has been revealed by the SFPD, nor has a motive for the attack.
“The homicide of Bob Lee is a horrible tragedy and my sympathies go out to his family and friends,” said Mayor London Breed on Wednesday. “The police are actively investigating what happened and will share details as soon as they can. San Francisco is prioritizing public safety, including recently passing our budget supplemental so we have the police staffing necessary to have more police officers in our neighborhoods and to investigate violent crimes when they do occur. I’m confident that when the Police make an arrest in cases like this, our District Attorney will do what’s necessary to hold any individuals accountable for their actions.”
Less than 48 hours later on Wednesday night, Carmignani was attacked by a man wielding a metal pipe in the Marina District of the city. Unlike the Lee stabbing, officers were called to the scene quickly and were provided a description of the suspect. The man, Garret Doty, was found several blocks away and arrested. He was also later booked with assault with a deadly weapon and battery causing serious bodily injury. Carmignani, meanwhile, was rushed to San Francisco General Hospital with severe head injuries. While it is known that he underwent emergency surgery, his latest condition has not been released.
“Our hearts go out to him and his family,” noted SFPD Chief Bill Scott on Thursday. “He’s expected to survive his injuries which is good news. I can tell you we made an arrest and in that case we’re going to give the district attorney the best evidence we can. But these types of brutal attacks and these types of brazen attacks, these are the kinds of things that have people anxious.”
Two major attacks in less than 2 days
Following both attacks, many San Francisco residents have led a renewed effort to bring a greater police presence to the city, as well as to bring back stricter sentences for criminals.
“Crime has been pretty bad, but now look where these attacks are happening,” Bay Area security consultant and former law enforcement official Frank Ma told the Globe on Friday. “Rincon Hill, Marina. These are supposed to be nice neighborhoods. And look who they are happening to. A big tech guy. A former city official. And you can add in the Paul Pelosi attack from last year too. That was in Pacific Heights to the spouse of one of the most well known members of Congress. This is becoming more common for prominent, wealthy people in neighborhoods where people don’t expect this to happen.”
“I have seen a change this week. I’m booked on security consultations for the next month due to these attacks. This time last week, I still had slots open the day after Easter. And a lot of people are fed up now. If you start angering the people who donate to fundraisers or help influence policy, you can bet that you’ll see some changes.”
“It is, in part, a budget issue and not having enough police right now, but it is also officials trying to stay away from all of this crime happening. Homelessness is high, drug usage in the streets is high, crime is high, and now wealthy and prominent people are starting to experience it to the degree that the rest of the city has been seeing.”
Jacob Spencer, a local activist, added, “San Francisco is such a beautiful city, and is really unique for an American city in many ways. This is such a black mark for the city right now. They can claim that crimes are dropping all they want, but it is really hard to stand there and say it’s getting better when some of the wealthiest and well-known people are being attacked on the street.”
More updates on the Lee and Carmignani cases are expected soon.
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