Wednesday News Roundup
COMPETENCY OF MAN ACCUSED OF ATTACKING 5-YEAR-OLD GIRL UNDER EVALUATION
A 31-year-old man accused of grabbing a 5-year-old girl by her neck and pinning her up against a building in San Francisco’s Cow Hollow neighborhood last week is being evaluated to determine whether he is mentally competent to participate in criminal proceedings.
The suspect, Andras Kosdi, remains in custody following his arrest on April 15. A mental competency report has been ordered and he is set to return to court on April 30, prosecutors said.
The attack occurred at about 7:40 a.m. on April 15 as the 5-year-old girl was walking with her mother near the intersection of Union and Octavia streets, San Francisco police spokesman Sgt. Michael Andraychak said.
The suspect approached them and grabbed the girl by her neck. He lifted her off the ground before pinning her up against a nearby building, Andraychak said.
The girl’s mother called 911 and responding officers arrested Kosdi on suspicion of false imprisonment, aggravated assault and child abuse, police said.
The girl suffered a bloody scratch and other injuries to her neck. She was transported to a hospital for treatment of her injuries, which were not considered life-threatening, according to police.
Andraychak said the suspect told officers that he had a medical illness and he was subsequently taken to a separate hospital for examination. It appears that the girl and her mother did not know Kosdi and that it was an isolated incident.
Kosdi has pleaded not guilty to the charges. His preliminary hearing is scheduled for April 30, but criminal proceedings would be suspended if a judge determines he is not mentally competent.
APPEALS COURT OVERTURNS BARRY BONDS’ CONVICTION
A federal appeals court in San Francisco today overturned former San Francisco Giants slugger Barry Bonds’ conviction for obstructing justice in 2003 testimony before a grand jury investigating steroid distribution.
A special 11-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said by a 10-1 vote that there was insufficient evidence that a statement alleged by prosecutors to be misleading was material to the grand jury probe.
The obstruction verdict was Bonds’ only conviction in a prosecution that began in 2007. At his trial in U.S. District Court in San Francisco in 2011, a jury deadlocked on three other charges that he lied to the grand jury.
Other charges against Bonds, 50, were dropped or dismissed before the trial.
In the statement at issue in the conviction, Bonds called himself the “celebrity child” of a baseball-playing father when asked whether his trainer, Greg Anderson, had given him anything to inject himself with.
The appeals court majority said, “During a grand jury proceeding, defendant gave a rambling, non-responsive answer to a simple question.
Because there is insufficient evidence that Statement C was material, defendant’s conviction for obstruction of justice … is not supported by the record.”
The court concluded, “His conviction and sentence must therefore be vacated, and he may not be tried again on that count.”
The grand jury was investigating the distribution of performance-enhancing drugs by the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative, or BALCO.
Ten other athletes, trainers, BALCO officials and a chemist were convicted or pleaded guilty to various charges as a result of the probe.
While playing with the San Francisco Giants from 1993 to 2007, Bonds set the Major League Baseball career home run record of 762, as well as the single-season record of 73 in 2001.
Bonds and his team of six lawyers appealed for and obtained a rare review by an 11-judge panel after a three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit upheld his conviction.
He has already served his sentence of one month of home confinement. According to his lawyers, he wanted to continue the appeal to clear his name.
BART’S BLUE SKY FESTIVAL TO HIGHLIGHT ECO-FRIENDLY TRANSPORTATION
In honor of Earth Day, BART is holding its fifth annual Blue Sky Festival today in San Francisco’s Justin Herman Plaza.
The BART celebration, which started at 11 a.m. and runs through 1:30 p.m., will provide people with opportunities to learn about the environment and will also include eco-friendly services and activities such as valet bicycle parking and a Segway obstacle course, according to the agency.
Additionally, there will be more than 50 exhibitors and carnival games with an environmentally friendly twist, BART officials said.
Contests will include prizes such as a free $6 BART ticket, a folding bike, a City CarShare membership and a ticket to the SF Green Film Festival, BART officials said.
According to the agency, festival-goers can also enter a contest for a chance to win a $100 Clipper card simply by taking a picture and uploading it to Instagram or Twitter with the hashtag #BARTBlueSky.
For those who can’t make it to the festival, BART officials said people can still enter the giveaways on their BARTable website, with prizes being given away today and next Wednesday.
Participants can enter the giveaways by visiting bartable.bart.gov/contests.
SLEEPING HOMELESS MAN ATTACKED BY FELLOW TRANSIENT WITH BASEBALL BAT
Police arrested a suspect who allegedly beat a sleeping homeless man with a metal baseball bat early Tuesday morning in San Francisco’s Mission Bay neighborhood.
Police responded to a report of an assault in the 1200 block of Seventh Street near Townsend Street at about 6 a.m. on Tuesday.
Officers located a 58-year-old man suffering from multiple head injuries. He was transported to San Francisco General Hospital for treatment, police said.
The victim told officers that he had been sleeping on a platform when a male suspect began beating him on the head with a metal baseball bat and yelling that he was going to kill him.
Police said the victim recognized the suspect as a fellow transient and provided them with a physical description.
Officers located the suspect about a block away near a storage facility, also located on Seventh Street.
The suspect was detained and positively identified. He was arrested for assault and attempted homicide, police said.