SF Officials split on reaction to pie-thrower charges FWD

Tom Boland (wgcp@earthlink.net)
Thu, 12 Nov 1998 11:52:07 -0400


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=46WD  San Francisco Examiner - Wednesday, Nov 11, 1998


OFFICIALS SPLIT ON REACTION TO PIE-THROWER CHARGES
THREE ASSAILANTS WILL FACE PAIR OF MISDEMEANOR CHARGES

By Diana Walsh of the Examiner Staff


While Supervisor Amos Brown is criticizing the decision
to file only misdemeanor charges against the mayor's
pie-throwing assailants, other elected officials
defended the move as long as the charges carry a stiff
penalty.

District Attorney Terence Hallinan announced Tuesday
that he will file two charges against three people who
pelted Mayor Brown with pies Saturday. The three,
members of a group known as the Biotic Baking Brigade,
will be charged with assault on a public official and
battery.

If convicted, the charges carry a maximum penalty of 18
months in jail.

The three suspects, along with a fourth who videotaped
the escapade, were jailed Saturday after the pastry
escapade. Police originally arrested the four on felony
battery charges because it involved a public official.

But Hallinan said the evidence did not merit the more
severe charges.

"Looking at what happened, it looked like a misdemeanor.
It's a serious misdemeanor and I think they should do
some jail time, but it is not a felony," Hallinan said.
He said he decided to go with the misdemeanor charges
because no serious injury was incurred and it appeared
that no serious injury was intended.

Arraignments Thursday

The three who will be arraigned Thursday are Justin
Gross, 28, of Berkeley; and Gerard Livernois, 34; and
Rahula Janowski, 28, both of San Francisco.
Charges against the fourth suspect, Jeffrey Larson, 29,
of San Francisco, were dropped because the district
attorney's office found that he was only videotaping the
event. Larson also belongs to the Biotic Baking Brigade,
which advocates throwing baked goods at famous people to
draw attention to social causes. A representative of the
group said they targeted the mayor to protest his
homeless policies.

Gross, Janowski and Larson posted $5,000 bail Monday,
Livernois remained in custody Wednesday pending $5,000
bail.

Supervisor Brown, who witnessed the assault on the
mayor, was angered by Hallinan's decision.

"I think it's outrageous. This was an assault on a
public official. It should be treated as a felony," he
said. "It reflects our cavalier attitude on serious
matters in this town. When we (show) permissiveness,
we're just as guilty as the person who is out there with
the gun, with the knife or with the bomb."
But other supervisors said they trusted Hallinan's
judgment just as long as the penalty would be severe
enough to send a message to would-be pie throwers.

"I believe in giving people second chances, but what I
don't want to see is a light slap on the wrist or a
message that says that you can do this repeatedly and
not suffer any consequences," said Supervisor Michael
Yaki.

Newsom hit with pies

Supervisor Gavin Newsom, who said he was the subject of
an election night pie attack by at least two members of
the same group, said he agreed with the charges.

"I think felonies should be left for very severe acts of
violence, and I can't see where this elevates itself to
that," said Newsom, who initially decided not to press
charges against his assailant, but is now reconsidering
in the wake of Saturday's attack.

"In hindsight, having watched the tape of the mayor, I
regret not doing something sooner," Newsom said. "If I
had stood up initially, we could have perhaps prevented
what happened to the mayor."

Mayor Brown is traveling in Europe, but his press
secretary Kandace Bender said the mayor left all legal
decisions on the matter up to the district attorney.

Those charged in the assault could not be reached for
comment.

Paul Boden, director of the Coalition on Homelessness,
who said he supports the group's attempts to bring
attention to the mayor's homeless polices, said he hoped
any sentences imposed would avoid jail time.

"I would hope that these people do not spend time in
jail. I don't think it was that kind of an offense,"
Boden said. "And I don't think that humbling this
particular mayor is all that bad of a thing. I think
this mayor needs some humbling."

END FORWARD
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=46WD  San Francisco Examiner - Wednesday, Nov 11, 1998



<paraindent><param>right,left</param>OFFICIALS SPLIT ON REACTION TO
PIE-THROWER CHARGES

THREE ASSAILANTS WILL FACE PAIR OF MISDEMEANOR CHARGES


By Diana Walsh of the Examiner Staff

</paraindent>


While Supervisor Amos Brown is criticizing the decision

to file only misdemeanor charges against the mayor's

pie-throwing assailants, other elected officials

defended the move as long as the charges carry a stiff

penalty.


District Attorney Terence Hallinan announced Tuesday

that he will file two charges against three people who

pelted Mayor Brown with pies Saturday. The three,

members of a group known as the Biotic Baking Brigade,

will be charged with assault on a public official and

battery.


If convicted, the charges carry a maximum penalty of 18

months in jail.


The three suspects, along with a fourth who videotaped

the escapade, were jailed Saturday after the pastry

escapade. Police originally arrested the four on felony

battery charges because it involved a public official.


But Hallinan said the evidence did not merit the more

severe charges.


"Looking at what happened, it looked like a misdemeanor.

It's a serious misdemeanor and I think they should do

some jail time, but it is not a felony," Hallinan said.

He said he decided to go with the misdemeanor charges

because no serious injury was incurred and it appeared

that no serious injury was intended.


Arraignments Thursday


The three who will be arraigned Thursday are Justin

Gross, 28, of Berkeley; and Gerard Livernois, 34; and

Rahula Janowski, 28, both of San Francisco.

Charges against the fourth suspect, Jeffrey Larson, 29,

of San Francisco, were dropped because the district

attorney's office found that he was only videotaping the

event. Larson also belongs to the Biotic Baking Brigade,

which advocates throwing baked goods at famous people to

draw attention to social causes. A representative of the

group said they targeted the mayor to protest his

homeless policies.


Gross, Janowski and Larson posted $5,000 bail Monday,

Livernois remained in custody Wednesday pending $5,000

bail.


Supervisor Brown, who witnessed the assault on the

mayor, was angered by Hallinan's decision.


"I think it's outrageous. This was an assault on a

public official. It should be treated as a felony," he

said. "It reflects our cavalier attitude on serious

matters in this town. When we (show) permissiveness,

we're just as guilty as the person who is out there with

the gun, with the knife or with the bomb."

But other supervisors said they trusted Hallinan's

judgment just as long as the penalty would be severe

enough to send a message to would-be pie throwers.


"I believe in giving people second chances, but what I

don't want to see is a light slap on the wrist or a

message that says that you can do this repeatedly and

not suffer any consequences," said Supervisor Michael

Yaki.


Newsom hit with pies


Supervisor Gavin Newsom, who said he was the subject of

an election night pie attack by at least two members of

the same group, said he agreed with the charges.


"I think felonies should be left for very severe acts of

violence, and I can't see where this elevates itself to

that," said Newsom, who initially decided not to press

charges against his assailant, but is now reconsidering

in the wake of Saturday's attack.


"In hindsight, having watched the tape of the mayor, I

regret not doing something sooner," Newsom said. "If I

had stood up initially, we could have perhaps prevented

what happened to the mayor."


Mayor Brown is traveling in Europe, but his press

secretary Kandace Bender said the mayor left all legal

decisions on the matter up to the district attorney.


Those charged in the assault could not be reached for

comment.


Paul Boden, director of the Coalition on Homelessness,

who said he supports the group's attempts to bring

attention to the mayor's homeless polices, said he hoped

any sentences imposed would avoid jail time.


"I would hope that these people do not spend time in

jail. I don't think it was that kind of an offense,"

Boden said. "And I don't think that humbling this

particular mayor is all that bad of a thing. I think

this mayor needs some humbling."


END FORWARD

-

** NOTICE: In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is=
 distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in=
 receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. *=
*


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ARCHIVES  <<http://aspin.asu.edu/hpn/archives.html>  read posts to HPN

TO JOIN  <<http://aspin.asu.edu/hpn/join.html> or email Tom <<wgcp@earthlink=
=2Enet>

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