A 38-year-old San Francisco man was found not guilty of battery Thursday for a physical altercation with a dog owner earlier this year, according to the public defender’s office.
Jonathan Krull was acquitted of a misdemeanor battery charge after a jury deliberated for 30 minutes, said his attorney, Deputy Public Defender Scott Grant.
Krull was arrested on Feb. 5 outside of a Walgreens store at Market Street and Van Ness Avenue, according to the public defender’s office.
When Krull was leaving the drugstore, he apparently saw an extremely sick dog lying on the sidewalk surrounded by several people, officials said.
He expressed concern for the animal and the dog’s owner, a 33-year-old woman with prior convictions, and her male companion started to yell at Krull, officials said.
The woman apparently escalated the conflict by balling up her fists, leaning forward and asking Krull, “Do you want a piece of me?”
To try to calm the woman down, Krull put his hand on her shoulder, officials said.
She responded by throwing several punches, which Krull blocked, according to the public defender’s office.
Witnesses believed they saw a man attacking a woman, and two men tackled Krull and began choking him, the public defender’s office said.
A female bystander, who later testified that she feared Krull was being killed, called 911.
Krull was handcuffed and arrested by police and the dog later died, officials said.
During the trial, the 911 caller said she never saw Krull hit the dog owner, the public defender’s office said.
During the dog owner’s testimony, she said she was planning to hail a cab to take her pet to the veterinarian, officials said.
Her testimony was apparently inconsistent with what she told police at the scene, Grant said.
Krull was relieved to have the ordeal behind him, he said.
Public Defender Jeff Adachi said the case illustrates how appearances can sometimes be deceiving.
“At first glance, bystanders and police officers assumed Mr. Krull was attacking the complaining witness,” Adachi said in a statement. “In fact, he was a good Samaritan who was defending himself after being assaulted by the supposed victim.”
Rachel Purdy, Bay City News