San Francisco Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi is expected to make his initial appearance in court on Thursday afternoon to face charges related to an alleged domestic violence incident involving his wife on New Year’s Eve.
Mirkarimi is set to be arraigned at 2:30 p.m. Thursday in the San Francisco Hall of Justice on charges of domestic violence battery, child endangerment and dissuading a witness in connection with the alleged Dec. 31 incident involving his wife, Eliana Lopez, and their young son Theo.
Mirkarimi has said he plans to fight the charges and will not resign as sheriff. He was just sworn into the post earlier this month after serving for seven years on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors.
According to an arrest warrant affidavit filed by police on Friday and released to reporters Tuesday, the incident came to light after a neighbor called police to say Lopez told her about the attack the day after it happened.
The neighbor took a video of Lopez crying and pointing to a bruise on her right bicep allegedly caused during an argument with Mirkarimi, according to the affidavit.
Lopez also alluded in the video to past incidents between the couple and said she wanted to use the video “just in case he wants to take Theo away from me because he did said that he is very powerful and can do it,” according to the affidavit.
The neighbor said Lopez told her that the Dec. 31 argument started when she, Mirkarimi and Theo were traveling to a restaurant for lunch and she asked if she could visit her family in Venezuela the day after he was sworn in as sheriff on Jan. 8, according to the affidavit.
Mirkarimi became enraged, saying “f— you, f— you, you are trying to take Theo away from me,” then turned the car around, saying she didn’t deserve to eat, according to the affidavit.
The argument continued when they got home, with Mirkarimi “pushing, pulling and grabbing” Lopez. She then ran out of the house and into the street, and Theo was also outside screaming and crying when Mirkarimi apologized and asked her to come back inside, according to the affidavit.
Police said a second neighbor also said Lopez talked to her about the incident, as well as a previous incident in March.
The second neighbor said Lopez described the Dec. 31 incident as Mirkarimi “going ballistic” and that Theo saw what happened and said “Daddy made boo-boo on mommy’s arm,” according to the affidavit.
Lopez has since denied the allegations, saying at a news conference last Friday, “This is unbelievable. I don’t have any complaints against my husband.”
Mirkarimi, who was booked into jail late Friday and released on $35,000 bail, is not allowed to enter the family’s Webster Street home as part of an emergency protective order obtained by prosecutors.
If convicted of all charges, Mirkarimi could face a year in prison and three years’ probation.
Dan McMenamin, Bay City News