‘Jogger Joe' Pleads Not Guilty to Robbery Charge After Trashing Homeless Man's Property at Lake Merritt

A man known as "Jogger Joe" pleaded not guilty Monday in Oakland to a second-degree felony robbery charge for allegedly stealing the cellphone of a man who confronted him for throwing a homeless man's belongings into Lake Merritt.

Oakland police Officer Michael Ransom II wrote in a probable cause statement that Henry Sintay, 38, was recorded committing a strong-arm robbery of a cellphone on June 9 and Sintay confessed to the crime when he was interviewed by police.

Prosecutors allege that Sintay, who lives in the 1300 block of East 27th Street in Oakland, near Highland Hospital, has a prior felony conviction for selling or transporting marijuana in Riverside County in 2009.

Sintay is charged with stealing a cellphone belonging to Matt Nelson.

Nelson said in an online posting that the theft occurred on June 9 when he used his cellphone to videotape Sintay when he asked Sintay why he threw a homeless man's belongings into Lake Merritt the previous evening, June 8.

That incident was videotaped by another person, was posted on the Lake Neighbors Facebook group page and has received national attention.

Nelson alleged that Sintay, who was accompanied by another man, grabbed his cellphone on Saturday and "assaulted me multiple times."

Nelson wrote that he suffered "a mild concussion, some cuts and bruises and many sore and strained muscles."

Sintay, who was arraigned last Wednesday afternoon but was released on $55,000 bail the next morning, is scheduled to return to court on Aug. 1 for a pretrial hearing.

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