A 25-year-old transgender woman from Los Angeles appeared in court today following her arrest for allegedly setting fire to the famous “Mrs. Doubtfire” home in San Francisco on Monday where a facial feminization surgeon resides with his family.
San Francisco police arrested Tyqwon Welsch, who also spells her name Tyquon Welch, in San Jose around 10 a.m. on Wednesday, two days after the fire was reported at the home in the city’s Pacific Heights neighborhood, San Francisco police spokesman Officer Albie Esparza said.
Welsch, who is in the process of transitioning genders, was a former patient of the doctor who resides at the home, Esparza said.
The front doormat and garage door of the home in the 2600 block of Steiner Street was lit on fire with gasoline, according to Esparza.
The defendant pleaded not guilty today to two counts of burning an inhabited dwelling, attempted murder, criminal threats, possession of an incendiary device, residential burglary, misdemeanor trespassing, and misdemeanor making annoying or harassing phone calls, according to San Francisco District Attorney spokesman Alex Bastian.
Judge Ethan P. Schulman set the defendant’s bail at $1 million today, down from an earlier amount of $2 million.
The Judge also ordered Welsch to stay away from Dr. Douglas K. Ousterhout, a surgeon who specializes in facial feminization surgery, and who owns the home that Welsch allegedly set fire to at about 8 p.m. on Monday.
The judge ordered the defendant to stay 150 feet away from the doctor, his son and the home on Steiner Street. He also ordered that the defendant refrain from contacting the doctor or his family in any way, other than through her attorney.
San Francisco Public Defender’s Office Attorney Elizabeth Hilton said following the court proceeding that she would “encourage people not to rush to judgment,” saying that the case involves circumstantial evidence.
Hilton said she wants to make sure her client is housed in a jail facility where she will be most comfortable and safe, considering her transgender identity.
Kathy Gorwood, Chief Deputy at the San Francisco Sheriff’s Department’s said whenever “gender-non conforming individuals” are housed in the jail, they are given an opportunity to discuss their gender and how they would feel safe being housed, either with women, men or in a gender-non conforming facility.
The home involved in the attack was featured in the 1993 film “Mrs. Doubtfire” starring actor Robin Williams, who received a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in a Motion Picture Musical or Comedy for his role in the film.
In the film, Williams disguises himself as an older female housekeeper in order to spend time with his children after his ex-wife is given custody of their children.
Williams committed suicide at his home in unincorporated Tiburon last August and many people have visited the Pacific Heights home featured in the film, leaving behind flowers, candles and notes to honor the late actor.
Hannah Albarazi, Bay City News