A man accused of brutally assaulting a homeless woman while she slept on a San Francisco street earlier this month made his first appearance in court Tuesday and prosecutors took the opportunity to air his disturbing reasons for committing the act.
Timothy Chase, a 28-year-old Oakland resident, was arrested last week and faces two counts of felony assault for the incident.
The San Francisco Police arrested Chase days after a surveillance video showing a man stomping a homeless woman on her head as she slept on the sidewalk on Third Street in downtown San Francisco earlier this month.
The prosecutor said in open court that Chase not only stated that he thought he might have killed her, he also said the attack occurred because he was “annoyed by the scent in the air.”
“This is very disturbing video,” said San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon. “Myself and the police department wanted to make sure the individual was arrested and now we are going to prosecute him.”
The prosecutor says the video shows the homeless woman, Elizabeth Murray, being kicked seven different times, though Chase’s public defender said in court the victim was not seriously injured.
Law enforcement sources tell us Murray refused medical attention, and told police she couldn’t remember what happened to her, but that her head hurt.
“She is having problems memorizing what occurred,’ said Gascon. “But we have a video clearly showing what occurred. But she can’t remember, so it’s possible she was hurt and is having problems as a result of the assault.”
Since his arrest, Chase has been in custody at the Hall of Justice. The judge set bail Tuesday at $100,000, even though the prosecution asked for bail at $250,000.
Prosecutors say Chase has a criminal record that includes attempted robbery.
Chase was due back in court in about two weeks.
If convicted, Chase could be sentenced to five years in prison.