San Francisco prosecutors today filed murder charges against a man suspected of beating another man to death with a skateboard in the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood early Christmas morning.
Donald Tanksley, 60, was found severely wounded in the 1400 block of Haight Street, at Masonic Avenue, at about 12:45 a.m. on Dec. 25.
Prosecutors said Tanksley had a fractured skull. He died at the hospital four days later.
Officers questioned people in the area of the attack, including 23-year-old Dustin Tolboe. After gathering more evidence, they located Tolboe in the same area later that day and arrested him for aggravated assault, police said.
After Tanksley's death, the San Francisco District Attorney's Office today amended the criminal complaint against Tolboe to murder.
Tolboe pleaded not guilty to the murder charge and is due back in court on Jan. 26. He is being held on $1 million bail.
Tanksley lived in a public housing complex at 255 Woodside Ave. in the city's Twin Peaks neighborhood, Park Station Capt. Denis O'Leary said.
It's not certain what Tanksley was doing out on Haight Street that morning, O'Leary said, but at some point, a confrontation occurred.
"He had an argument with a group of people...and one of them took umbrage and hit him with a skateboard," O'Leary said.
It's believed the dispute was "that he was drinking their beer," he said.
Tolboe was stopped at the scene by police and the others scattered, according to O'Leary. He said it was help from locals in the area that led to an identification of Tolboe as the suspect.
"We got a lot of assistance from the merchants and the street people of the Haight," O'Leary said. "They cooperated a great deal."
O'Leary said it is unclear whether Tolboe had been living on the street. He said Tolboe gave a home address of Thatcher, Utah.