S.F. mayoral candidate ‘Grasshopper’ arrested

The mayoral candidate known as Grasshopper showed up at Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors meeting and wound up leaving in handcuffs, his latest run-in with the law since launching his own investigation into Supervisor Ed Jew’s claim about living in the district he represents.

Alec Kaplan, or Grasshopper, is under a restraining order preventing him from coming too close to Jew, the controversy-plagued District 4 supervisor. Kaplan is allowed to attend Board of Supervisors meetings if he sits in the back.

On Tuesday, Kaplan sat in the back of the board chambers, but when he rose during the board’s public comment period, three deputy sheriffs confronted him and apparently informed him that he could not testify. A tussle ensued as he was shuffled out the door and then handcuffed.

“You are going to put me back in the torture chamber,” Kaplan shouted.

Sheriff’s Department spokeswoman Eileen Hirst said Kaplan was arrested for violating the restraining order.

Kaplan’s attorney, C. Zadick Shapiro, said he didn’t believe the restraining order should prevent Kaplan from testifying and, if it does, he did not think that was the court’s intent.

Kaplan must stay 50 yards away from Jew when inside City Hall and can be in board chambers if he sits in the back, which Hirst said “would keep him from being at the front podium where public comment is conducted.”

Outside City Hall, Kaplan must stay 300 yards from Jew, his wife, his daughter, his residence and his business.

Earlier this month, Kaplan had parked his van in the driveway of Jew’s claimed Sunset residence in an effort to conduct his own investigation into Jew’s residency claim, Shapiro said Tuesday. Kaplan was arrested, charged with two counts of trespassing and hit with a restraining order.

Jew, whose criminal trial begins Sept. 28, is charged with nine felony counts ranging from perjury to voter fraud based on allegations that he lied about where he lived in order to run for office. Prosecutors say he instead lived in Burlingame with his wife and daughter.

IN OTHER ACTION

POT DEADLINE: In an 8-2 vote, The City’s medical pot club regulations were amended to extend the deadline from July 1, 2007, until March 2008 for clubs to obtain city permits and to allow patients to purchase marijuana with just a doctor’s prescription instead of a state-issued medical marijuana identification card.

LIQUOR NIXED: In a 9-2 vote, a liquor license was denied for Bristol Farms food store, located at the Westfield San Francisco Shopping Centre. The liquor license application had been at the board for more than a year, as Bristol Farms faced criticism for being a nonunion company. Supervisor Sean Elsbernd, who supported the permit, said the permit was rejected because of the “labor issues.”

jsabatini@examiner.com

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