Martin Knaak, a 49-year-old homeless man that had been charged with vandalism after smashing an Uber driver’s car with his skateboard in San Francisco‘s Marina District in December, has been acquitted by the jury.
Knaak was found not guilty of vandalism and resisting arrest. Knaak claimed that Philip Nuccio, the Uber driver, chased him both in his car and on foot. The jury acquitted him after finding out he only acted in self-defense.
The incident that caused Knaak to get charged happened last December 6th where Knaak and Nuccio got into a jaywalking dispute that ended with Knaak throwing his skateboard into Nuccio’s Prius.
Apparently, the Uber driver saw the homeless man jaywalking and then motioned him to use the sidewalk. Knaak must had refused, pissing off Nuccio. The latter then chased Knaak down the street and afterwards, on foot all the while capturing it on camera.
Ironically, the video that Nuccio took of Knaak was the factor that kept Knaak from going to jail.
Jeff Adachi, the public defender handling Knaak’s case, said, “As a crime victim, Mr. Knaak deserved every bit of the police response and protection that would have been afforded to a wealthy San Franciscan. What happened to him is a betrayal of justice. Fortunately, his public defender was able to end his nightmare.”
That statement was most likely in response to the wrong assumptions the police officers made that night. Apparently, instead of taking Knaak’s statement and hearing his side of the story, the officers placed him under arrest.
Fortunately for Martin Knaak, the jury sided with him.
Now as for Philip Nuccio’s fate as well, according to San Francisco District Attorney’s Office spokesman Max Szabo, the district attorney’s office has currently no intention of filing charges against him.
But did Knaak and Nuccio manage to make peace with each other? Let’s hope so.