San Francisco, CA — A 20-year-old man who removed a gun from a Tenderloin sidewalk was acquitted by a jury of carrying a concealed and loaded weapon, San Francisco Public Defender Jeff Adachi announced today.

The jury deliberated for eight hours before finding Robbie Marucut of San Francisco not guilty late Tuesday, said his attorney, Deputy Public Defender Abigail Rivamonte.  Marucut faced two years in jail if convicted of the misdemeanor charges.

Marucut, a waiter with no criminal convictions, was arrested the night of Sept. 14, 2010 on his way home from a gathering in the Tenderloin for a friend who had committed suicide with a handgun.

“Mr. Marucut was walking to catch the bus when he saw a shiny object on the ground and was shocked to realize it was a gun,” Rivamonte said. “He had grown up in the Tenderloin and had seen too many gun-related tragedies. He had just buried his friend the previous day. He removed the gun for safety reasons.”

Police officers claimed that they stopped Mr. Marucut moments later because they received a call from dispatch regarding a suspect that fit Mr. Marucut’s description.  Marucut was arrested on the corner near the Tenderloin Police Station, where he had been walking to turn in the weapon.

During the one-day trial, Marucut testified that he could not explain his side of the story to police because they immediately told him to shut up at gunpoint. Police testified they surrounded Marucut with six officers and four patrol vehicles.

Marucut’s supervisor at Social Kitchen Brewery, who testified as a character witness, said Marucut is a longtime, hardworking employee who he trusts with keys to the restaurant.

“In the end, jurors recognized that Mr. Marucut was telling the truth and was simply trying to return the gun to the police station,” Rivamonte said. “He was concerned that a conviction would ruin his plans to go back to college and he cried tears of joy when the verdict was read.”

Adachi praised the jury’s decision.

“Mr. Marucut tried to do the right thing and ended up being arrested. Fortunately, his attorney was able to unravel the misunderstanding and the jury reached the right verdict,” Adachi said.