Loved ones of the 19-year-old man who was shot by police officers following an alleged attempted robbery in the Marina district last month said they were stunned by the allegations.
Rommel Narvaez is accused of robbing a man Oct. 27 whom he had contacted through Craigslist about buying an iPhone. Narvaez pistol-whipped the man and fired off a gun multiple times before being shot by officers, according to police. It was later revealed by police that Narvaez’s gun contained blanks.
The suspect pleaded not guilty Monday during an arraignment that was held at his bedside at San Francisco General Hospital, where the San Francisco resident is recovering from three bullet wounds. Narvaez’s bail was set at $1 million.
The Marina incident occurred while Narvaez was facing charges in connection with two similar Craigslist-related robberies in Daly City in April.
The incidents might sound like the work of a career criminal, but people who know Narvaez — even the mother of his daughter — were shocked by the charges, according to the daughter’s grandfather, 52-year-old David Shrawder.
Narvaez had apparently embarked upon a secret life of crime while juggling multiple jobs and caring for his daughter, Shrawder told The San Francisco Examiner.
“We did not know he was doing these things,” Shrawder said. “Everybody that knew him, we sat together and talked about it and we just couldn’t figure it out.”
Shrawder described Narvaez as a “very quiet, very nice kid” and a good father and boyfriend.
Before his arrest in April, according to Shrawder, Narvaez had been working two full-time jobs as a stocker at a warehouse and store, then would care for his daughter while his girlfriend was at work or school.
“The only assumption I can make is that … he was just trying to provide everything for his daughter,” Shrawder said.
Shrawder insisted he is in no way condoning Narvaez’s alleged crimes, adding that he himself was once the victim of a robbery in Nob Hill in which he was shot.
Shrawder said he knows all too well the trauma that follows victims after such an incident.