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Update: Suspect arrested in brutal assault of former San Francisco Fire Commissioner Don Carmignani

Suspect arrested in brutal assault of former S.F. fire commissioner
Suspect arrested in brutal assault of former S.F. fire commissioner 03:38

SAN  FRANCISCO -- A brutal and brazen attack on former San Francisco Fire Commissioner Don Carmignani outside his mother's Marina District home has left him battling for his life and neighbors on edge. 

According to friends, Carmignani was leaving the family home on Magnolia Street between Buchanan and Laguna Streets on Wednesday when he was approached by three men.

"Last night at 7pm in the marina district at Laguna and Chestnut Street, a friend and former San Francisco Commissioner was brutally beaten by a group of homeless people in front of his home," Joe Alioto Veronese, a prominent lawyer and friend, posted on Twitter. "He is at SF general fighting for his life. Pray4Him."

UPDATE: Former SF Fire commissioner Don Carmignani faces long recovery after vicious beating

Carmignani was beaten with a pipe leaving him with severe head injuries including a fractured skull. He was rushed to San Francisco General and underwent emergency surgery. His condition has not been released.

"He is a big guy," Veronese told the San Francisco Chronicle. "They slashed his face with a knife and continued to hit him with a pole."

Arriving officers obtained a description of the suspect and broadcast the description over their radios. Responding officers located the suspect -- identified as  24-year-old Garret Doty -- in the area of Laguna and Lombard Streets. 

Doty was taken into custody without further incident. He has been booked on charges of assault with a deadly weapon and battery causing serious injury.  

At a community meeting Thursday night on neighborhood safety in the city's Sunset District, San Francisco police chief Bill Scott said the brazen attack has left the city shaken.

"Our hearts go out to him and his family," Scott told KPIX. "He's expected to survive his injuries which is good news. But these types of brutal attacks and these types of brazen attacks, these are the kinds of things that have people anxious."

San Francisco District Attorney Brooke Jenkins was also at the meeting and commented on the city's second high-profile assault this week.

"I've seen the photo of the former commissioner," she told KPIX. "It was a very brutal and violent attack."

The assault came in the same week Cash App founder and MobileCoin CPO Bob Lee was stabbed to death in San Francisco's Rincon Hill neighborhood.

San Francisco Crime:

No arrests have been made in Lee's slaying, but both violent assaults have ignited an intense debate over safety in the city.

San Francisco District 11 Supervisor Ahsha Safaí told KPIX Friday a recently-passed budget supplemental for public safety is too oriented to the downtown area at the expense of the district police stations and neighborhoods. He said the day of the attack on Carmignani, his mother had called police three times to ask for help but was told officers couldn't prioritize the call.

"They didn't show up because there's such shortage of officers in the city. They weren't able to prioritize that call. Then he shows up to the scene, tries to take matters into his own hands, and ends up in the hospital," said Safai.

SF Supervisor Ahsha Safaí on crime and safety in the city 04:29

District 2 Supervisor Catherine Stefani, who represents the Marina District, said in a statement the city needs to provide the resources law enforcement needs "to turn the tide on crime in this city."

"The night of the attack, I was in close contact with our Northern Station officers and the District Attorney. I shared pictures sent to me that evening, and SFPD used those images to bring a suspect into custody. I am extremely grateful for our law enforcement agencies' swift response and dedication to public safety in San Francisco. But gratitude isn't enough," said Stefani. "As I pray for Don, his family, and his recovery, I want to be very clear: we cannot tolerate this kind of criminal activity. Not in the Marina, not anywhere. Everyone has the right to feel safe in San Francisco, and that means the city has to stop playing politics with public safety."

"Growing up in the Bay Area, in San Jose, I've been to San Francisco several times, and I definitely don't consider SF safe," said Christina Nguyen, a tech worker whose job is in the Rincon Hill neighborhood. "There are pockets where I don't feel comfortable walking through in the middle of the day. I would walk around it. Get a car."

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