Here is a breakdown of the worst San Francisco offenders to hit headlines in 2012.
Most unrepentant, delusional rapist
Frederick Dozier Jr. was convicted this year of dragging, beating, raping and robbing three women in 2011 whom he had never met. Despite admitting to police that he had encountered all three victims on the nights in question, he minimized the incidents. In discussing one, Dozier told a detective he simply “bumped right into her. … I just kept moving and she was right there.” He added, “She told me, ‘Can I kiss you?’ and I’m like, ‘No.’” Disturbing photographs of the victims’ injuries, along with ample DNA evidence, told a different story. A jury found him guilty on 25 of 26 counts.
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Least valuable fan on Giants’ big day
This 22-year-old slugger struck out with Giants fans this year. During World Series celebrations in the streets in October, Gregory Tyler Graniss smashed a Muni bus windshield with a metal police barricade. The very public act was captured in a photograph, leading to Graniss’ arrest. While the Giants brought economic benefits to The City with their title, Graniss and others who were arrested in connection with the bus-bashing did the opposite. Muni had recently spent about $1 million on the vehicle, which was totaled after being lit on fire. Through his attorney, Graniss later asked San Franciscans for their forgiveness.
Most beloved gangster
Diondre “D-Nice” Young, the man police called a leader of the vicious Towerside gang in Visitacion Valley, received a hero’s funeral after he was shot March 30. In April, his body was paraded down some of the area’s meaner streets, and police intervened to keep the procession from heading into the territory of a rival gang.
The Occupy Wall Street movement brought our city’s always-unsatisfied anarchists out of hibernation last year. Wearing masks and using black bloc tactics this year, Occupy San Francisco staged several small riots in The City. But their agenda is tough to figure out. One day, they protested an officer-involved shooting of a convict toting an AK-47. Another day, they tried to drive yuppies out of the Mission district. After 20 of them were arrested during an October smashup in the Financial District, it was revealed that this group had its own economic disparities — one of the suspects, for example, was a neuroscience major at Boston University.
Larry Brinkin, a 22-year veteran of the San Francisco Human Rights Commission who retired with honor in 2010, was arrested on charges of possessing and distributing child pornography. But that’s not all. Prosecutors said Brinkin offered shocking commentary in email exchanges containing such pictures. One used racist expletives to describe an adult’s sex act with a 2-year-old.
Most totally grounded
Last year, the San Francisco Unified School District backed the principal of Paul Revere Elementary School when she was accused of deploying corporal punishment tactics on schoolchildren, saying there was no evidence of such behavior. Sheila Milosky made headlines again in May, when she was arrested on DUI charges after reportedly sideswiping two vehicles just south of the Golden Gate Bridge.
Most prolonged march to justice
We still don’t know if purported MS-13 gang member Edwin Ramos pulled the trigger, but a jury didn’t care when it sentenced him to three life terms in connection with the infamous 2008 mistaken-identity triple slaying of Anthony Bologna and two of his sons in the Excelsior district. Prosecutors could not prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Ramos was the shooter. However, we might soon discover the truth. The alleged shooter, Wilfredo “Flaco” Reyes, was arrested in July after four years on the run. His trial is pending.
Most despised cyclists
The consequences of reckless bicycling came into public view this year. In February, 23-year-old Randolph Ang pleaded guilty to a 2011 incident in which he ran a red light while rushing to work and struck and killed 68-year-old Dionette Cherney at Mission Street and The Embarcadero. But a remorseful Ang did not anger share-the-road advocates as much as Chris Bucchere. In March, he was allegedly racing down a Castro district street when a stoplight turned red. As pedestrians filled the crosswalk, Bucchere slammed into Sutchi Hui, mortally wounding the 71-year-old. Bucchere reportedly recounted the incident heartlessly in an online cycling forum, stating of his bicycle, “May she die knowing that because she committed the ultimate sacrifice, her rider can live on and ride on...can I get an amen?”
Filthiest rapper to deny dirty claims
After he was arrested, Oakland rapper Philthy Rich apparently preferred to speak through his Twitter account instead of a lawyer. In February, after a performance at the Rockit Room, police cuffed him on charges that he was in possession of a stolen Bentley. Philthy used social media to declare that cops had no dirt on him, and that he had purchased the Bentley legitimately. However, Philthy still requested representation by the Public Defender’s Office.
Likeliest to be hexed
Karma might have finally found several people involved in a scam that has swept the nation this year. Con artists have been targeting Chinese communities using cultural superstitions to persuade women to hand over their savings and belongings. In one scam, victims were fooled into spending thousands of dollars on a blood-colored jade bracelet that’s actually worth about $10 — capitalizing on a Chinese traditional belief that the charm brings good fortune. In another scam, victims were persuaded that they should have their cash and valuables “purified,” but instead crooks just make these items disappear. There have been several arrests related to these crimes, but they continue to happen.
Worst lack of empathy
In February, in the Mission district, a dying Richard Sprague — who police said had been robbed and strangled — was heard crying out for help about 2 a.m. on Julian Avenue near 15th Street. Though several residents heard the pleas, no one called 911 until 7:42 a.m. Sprague was dead by then. One neighbor claimed to have thought someone else had already called 911. Another said residents have become accustomed to the late-night noise from partiers and drug addicts.
Mangiest Muppet, parental nightmare
When “Evil Elmo” visited an Inner Richmond district playground this year, parents of youngsters were not tickled. Police responded to Rossi Park in October after reports that a man dressed as the iconic “Sesame Street” character was trying to hug kids. Also, at one point he launched into a very public anti-Semitic rant, the parents said. The man, later identified as 48-year-old Adam Sandler (formerly Dan Sandler), was not arrested because it was determined he had not committed a crime. However, police had their eye on him. After all, Sandler is well-known in New York City for dishing out racist diatribes and harassing passers-by while dressed as Elmo. More disturbing, Sandler is a former pornographer who ran a website in Cambodia called “Welcome to Rape Camp” that got him deported in 1999.
Most vigilant vigilantes
In June, a San Francisco father and his longtime girlfriend were accused of hunting down and killing their daughter’s pimp. Prosecutors said Barry Gilton, 38, and Lupe Mercado, 37, first tracked Calvin Sneed to Los Angeles, where Sneed was allegedly pimping their 17-year-old. Gilton allegedly shot and wounded Sneed. A week later, Sneed drove up to San Francisco to reclaim the girl. That’s when he was fatally shot about 2 a.m. June 4 as he drove near Meade and Le Conte avenues.
Scariest crime scene
A gambling debt was the only reported motive for the massacre of five people inside an Ingleside district home this year. A plumber’s apprentice, 35-year-old Bin Thai Luc, was the only person arrested in connection with the March 23 killing of a 32-year-old man and his parents, sister and girlfriend. Luc has pleaded not guilty.
Freakiest flip-out at funky footrace
He should have stuck to the grass. The annual Zazzle Bay to Breakers footrace was relatively peaceful this year — except for the drug-fueled outburst of a 21-year-old man who was seen talking to himself and eating grass in Golden Gate Park. At one point, police said Daniel Frank bolted toward a woman, grabbed her hair, lifted her off the ground and dragged her across a lawn. A bag of hair was submitted as evidence. During the rampage, he also allegedly kicked and threw the woman’s dog and assaulted people who tried to help her.
Fishiest crack pact
South San Francisco seafood deliveryman Byron Bates was sentenced to rehab this year for swapping nearly $10,000 worth of fish that he was supposed to deliver to buyers in Sacramento for $400 worth of crack cocaine. We made readers cringe with the opener to the story: “He didn’t steal a truckload of fish just for the halibut.”
Most inappropriate Wiener watcher
Michael Petrelis, the outspoken San Francisco blogger and gay-rights activist, was named an honorary member of the pee-parazzi after he snapped a photo of his nemesis, Supervisor Scott Wiener, in a City Hall bathroom. On his blog, Petrelis posted a picture of Wiener at the sink with his toothbrush and toothpaste. But he also described how he tried to take a picture of the supervisor urinating. He said his camera took too long to focus, which gave Wiener enough time “to put away his wiener and zip up.” Petrelis is facing a misdemeanor charge.
Undisputed sheriff of crazytown
It’s hard to believe that with all the gruesome and disturbing crimes in 2012, this honor would go to a man who bruised his wife’s arm. The ugly saga of Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi and his Venezuelan soap opera star wife, Eliana Lopez, offered drama rivaling anything on daytime television. First, the couple’s neighbor called police after Lopez told her of an ugly marital dispute that got physical on New Year’s Eve. Mayor Ed Lee then suspended the new sheriff after he pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor domestic violence charge. A protective order was issued barring the couple from being together. When that was lifted five months later, the couple’s reunion — an embrace that could have accompanied a Huggies commercial — was, like everything else the pair did this year, captured by news cameras. Meanwhile, the mayor launched a 10-month crusade to oust Mirkarimi, which failed when not enough members of the Board of Supervisors voted to remove the sheriff permanently. And the drama continues, with Mirkarimi rebuking the mayor’s calls to relinquish oversight of Sheriff’s Department domestic violence programs and various half-hearted efforts to launch a recall election. It appears that Boss Hogg continues to steal the spotlight in the wild town of Hazzard.