Judge orders suspect in SF attack caught on video to wear ankle monitor

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The suspect in the attack of a woman outside her San Francisco apartment building was ordered on Friday to wear an ankle monitor. 

San Francisco Superior Court judge Christine Van Aken said the suspect in the case, Austin James Vincent, 25, appears to have been facing mental health issues in the attack that was caught on camera.

On Wednesday, the judge released Vincent on assertive case management— despite a recommendation that he remain in custody, in hopes that he would receive mental health treatment instead of jail. 

Aken said Friday it appears that is exactly what is happening. 

"There's a growing understanding in the law that incarceration is not the answer for folks with mental illness and substance abuse in all cases," the judge said. "Certainly we can't tolerate violence, but in this case, it looks to me so far that issues are being addressed."

She said Vincent is now receiving treatment, living in a facility, and seems to be responding well to treatment. 

Vincent is required to wear an ankle monitor to make sure he stays away from the location where the attack occurred.  

Earlier this week Aken faced criticism for her decision to release Vincent, but she says she never saw the surveillance video of the incident until after his arraignment.  

"It was not provided to me. No photographs were provided to me at the time of arraignment," she said. "That was new information to me."

The judge said she did not see the video until a day later by accident while she was at a restaurant. 

"At that restaurant, a TV was playing and I saw what purported to be video of the attack," Aken said. " I was frankly alarmed at the level of violence that I saw on the video. 

So the judge switched gears. 

Although the defendant can stay out of jail, he must now wear an ankle bracelet. 

Vincent's attorney Saleem Belbahari said, "I believe the court made the correct decision in these circumstances." 

Aken a former San Francisco deputy city attorney who played a key role in cases involving marriage equality and presidential overreach. 

City Attorney Dennis Herrera says the district attorney's office is to blame for failing to show the video to the judge. 

In a statement, Herrera said, "The rush to judgment here and the desire to pillory and outstanding officer of the court is unsettling...It's disappointing that so many were quick to criticize her without knowing all of the facts." 

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