Former San Francisco fire commissioner victim in brutal pipe beating

A former San Francisco fire commissioner was the victim of a brutal attack involving a metal pipe in the Marina district.

Former fire commissioner Donald Carmignani was repeatedly slashed, beaten and hit over the head Wednesday evening, according to friends and family.

Police said the assault happened about 7:20 p.m., in the area of Magnolia and Laguna streets.

Neighbors said a homeless man known in the area is responsible for the brutal beating.

"He almost beat the man into the street with all these cars passing by," one witness told KTVU. "I was screaming stop, stop, stop!"

Carmignani's father told KTVU his son was trying to get three homeless people who camped in front of their home to move. After they picked up and relocated down the street, Carmignani confronted them. 

Attorney and former candidate for district attorney, Joe Alioto Veronese, said Carmignani is a friend. Veronese initially took to social media where he shared that Carmignani was assaulted by three people in front of his home.

"He asked them to move and he was blindsided by a metal pipe to the head," Veronese said. "Don’s a big guy and what it says to me is this kind of thing can happen to anybody. Nobody is safe in San Francisco right now."

While Veronese said he didn't witness the attack, he did say Carmignani suffered a fractured skull, broken jaw and lots of lacerations to his face and head.


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San Francisco police investigators have said if the stabbing of tech executive Bob Lee was random or targeted. But neighbors and business owners said they feel unsafe. Data shows homicides citywide have increased over the last three years.

Footage from the Citizen app and witness video shared with KTVU shows a man in the area where the attack happened crossing a street while holding a metal bar.

"I moved here because I love this city and it’s becoming more and more disturbing to live here," the witness said.

Officers responded to an aggravated assault report where they found a man who had been attacked with a metal object, according to the San Francisco Police Department. Officials have not confirmed the victim's identity.

The suspect, 24-year-old Garret Doty, was found and arrested in the area of Laguna and Lombard streets late Wednesday.

Doty was booked into San Francisco County Jail on felony charges of assault with a deadly weapon and battery causing serious bodily injury.

Officers have not said whether Doty is the same man who was seen on video holding a metal pipe.

The district attorney's office said Doty's arraignment is scheduled for Monday. 

Neighbors said they're not surprised and have had trouble with Doty and others who live on the streets.

"They’re always on the sidewalk surrounded by a pile of trash, folded over, smoking drugs," Andrew Cuzzone said. "It's alarming."

It's the latest violent attack in the city sparking questions over police staffing and resources.

"This is what’s really happening," San Francisco Supervisor Catherine Stefani said. "I’ve been here 21 years and this didn’t used to happen. I believe it’s a direct result we do not have enough officers on our street."

Stefani said in a public meeting Thursday she is friends with Carmignani and is angry and tired by yet another act of violence in the city.

Carmignani is currently in the hospital and underwent two surgeries on his skull and jaw, his family said. He's expected to survive.

"It makes me want to move to another city," Cuzzone said, "it’s no way to live in fear all the time."

 Brooks Jarosz is a reporter for KTVU. Email him at and follow him on Facebook and Twitter @BrooksKTVU