Judge Orders Mental Evaluation for SF Hate-Crime Suspect

In January, Sean Moore was shot by police after a scuffle in a stairwell that was captured on video

A San Francisco judge on Tuesday ordered a mental evaluation of a man facing hate crime assault and threats charges but who is perhaps better known as the purported victim of videotaped incident of alleged police brutality.

Sean Moore, 44, was shot by officers in a videotaped scuffle on the staircase of his Ocean View home in January. In May, a judge threw out criminal charges in that case, ruling that police overstepped their authority in seeking to notify him of a restraining order violation in the early morning incident. Moore recently filed a civil claim against the city for excessive force.

Then came his arrest last week.

On Tuesday, Moore entered a not guilty plea on new charges stemming from what police portray as a hate-motivated attack against a 16-year-old Latino jogger on Friday. He also faces charges that he threatened to kill at least three police civilians at the Taraval police station.

Moore's lawyer, deputy public defender Herman Holland, argued that his client was not a danger because he had not been convicted of a felony in a decade. While Holland says his client denies the alleged hate crimes attack, he said the threats case amounted to a police effort to “really stack” the case against him.

“A lot of the conduct may be because he is suffering from a deteriorating mental state,” Holland told Judge Joseph Quinn.

Prosecutor Margaret Buitrago argued that bail should be more than $450,000, saying that Moore posed a risk to the public. The victim in Friday's attack suffered a broken nose and a concussion.

Buitrago revealed that, according to police, Moore called the Taraval police station 158 times and threatened to separately kill three police civilians between June and the end of July.

In the end, Quinn ordered that Moore undergo a mental evaluation and set bail at $175,000.

“I have serious public safety concerns,” Quinn said, calling the bail sought by prosecutors “unreasonable.”

Moore left the hearing early after having a dispute with Holland.

“I’d like a different lawyer,” he said.

Later, he insisted on leaving when he was admonished by the judge about speaking out of turn.

“I’m done, let’s go,” he said.

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