The suspect, 28-year-old Timothy Chase of Oakland, “thought he wanted to kick her because he was annoyed by the scent in the area,” prosecutor Nadim Hegazi said during Chase’s arraignment.
Chase reportedly did not know the victim when he allegedly stomped on her head early Nov. 11 as she slept on a sidewalk near Third and Bryant streets. The beating was caught on surveillance video. Chase was arrested four days later.
On Tuesday, he pleaded not guilty to two felony assault charges, which could deliver a maximum five-year prison sentence. While Hegazi requested that Chase’s bail be increased to $250,000, a judge kept the amount at the original $100,000.
“This was a particularly heinous crime,” Hegazi argued, adding that Chase “kicks her full-force in the head.”
Upon Chase’s arrest, Hegazi said, he reportedly told investigators that he “thought he might have killed the lady.”
Chase could face stiffer charges if it’s discovered the homeless woman suffered permanent brain damage as a result of the attack. Chase’s attorney with the Public Defender’s Office argued that it did not appear the woman had “sustained great bodily injury.”
Chase had two misdemeanor convictions in his past and has been arrested in connection with violent crimes, Hegazi said.
The attack was reported to police about 4:45 a.m. Nov. 11, but when officers responded to the area the victim “walked off and said she was fine.” Then within six minutes of the beating, police were diverted to an unrelated fatal shooting in the same area, Police Chief Greg Suhr has said.
Police learned about the assault only after KTVU (Ch. 2) broadcast surveillance video.
“The officers who went on scene had no way of knowing the brutality of the attack because no one knew it until they saw the video,” Suhr has said.