Friday, November 2, 2012 · by Tamara Aparton
San Francisco, CA — Two 19-year-old women accused of starting a fight that sent a 60-year-old baseball fan toppling over a row of seats at AT&T Park have been acquitted of all charges, San Francisco Public Defender Jeff Adachi announced today.
Jurors deliberated one day before finding Briana Chamorro of San Francisco not guilty of two counts of battery Thursday afternoon, said Chamorro’s attorney, Deputy Public Defender Edward Mario. Chamorro’s codefendant, San Bruno resident Amber Hanna, was also acquitted of battery. Hanna was represented by defense attorney Severa Keith.
Chamorro and Hanna were cited April 27 while attending a Giants vs. Padres game with two other female friends. After taking their seats, one of the four college aged women lit up a joint, upsetting a 26-year-old woman seated in the same row with her 60-year-old mother. When asked by the daughter to extinguish the joint, the young woman complied.
However, the lingering smell of marijuana continued to irritate the woman and her mother, causing them to get up to leave after 15 minutes. Although only empty seats separated the mother and daughter from the aisle to their right, they walked to their left, necessitating the four young women to allow them to pass, Mario said.
The daughter approached Hanna, who was seated closest to them, and angrily ordered her to “move,” Mario said. Hanna responded, “you can ask me nicer,” further irritating the daughter. When Hanna did not immediately move, the daughter pushed past her, knocking her legs out of the way and stepping on Chamorro’s feet. When Chamorro protested, the daughter shoved her in the face, Mario said.
“Ms. Chamorro threw her arms out to protect herself and stood up, while Ms. Hanna tried to separate the two. From then on it was a lot of arms flailing and the 60-year-old mother fell into the row behind them,” Mario said.
Prosecutors maintained Chamorro and Hanna either intentionally pushed the older woman or aided and abetted someone who did. The woman was taken by ambulance to a hospital, where she was treated for a bruised hip and leg.
During the two day trial, both the mother and daughter took the stand, as well as Chamorro and Hanna. Two independent witnesses were also called, neither of whom saw the young women push the mother.
“In total, there were six witnesses and five different versions of the story,” Mario said.
In particular, jury members could not make sense of the daughter’s version of events.
“The jury said the daughter was absolutely not credible. She was evasive and confrontational when she appeared in court. She could have easily avoided these young women. Instead, she started a fight,” Mario said.
Adachi said the jury came to the right decision.
“Ms. Chamorro was simply trying to enjoy an evening with her friends at the ballpark. There was no evidence that she did anything besides try to protect herself,” he said.