Accused Castro stalker gets felony charges 

A transient accused of wreaking havoc in the Castro — stalking and harassing people and burglarizing vehicles — will be in court for a preliminary hearing this morning after being arrested last week for violating a restraining order, police said.

Michael Mirafzali, 47, was arrested on March 11 — two days after police say he violated an emergency protective order he was served with for allegedly stalking a Castro resident.

Mirafzali also spit on an officer and threatened the life of another as he was being arrested, police said.

He is being charged with obstructing or resisting executive officer in performance, afelony with a maximum sentence of three years in jail, and contempt constituting misdemeanor, which has a potential sentence of six months.

According to court documents filed on March 12, Mirafzali has been stalking the Castro resident for eight months and left him "fearing for his life" after a string of face-to-face encounters.

The stalking incidents began last July, when Mirafzali allegedly entered the victim’s workplace on Castro Street and hurled a metal trash can at him, missing him by inches while making anti-gay remarks.

The victim stated in an affidavit that he feared Mirafzali’s confrontations would grow even more violent.

On March 8, Mirafzali allegedly approached the victim in the Castro Muni station, yelling and telling him to "just jump over the rail and onto the tracks." The victim stated in the affidavit that he feared for his life and was worried Mirafzali would push him into the path of a train.

On Tuesday, Matthew Rosen, the public defender assigned to Mirafzali’s case, said he didn’t know enough about the case yet to comment.

According to court documents, a Castro Street business owner also filed a restraining order against Mirafzali after he allegedly entered her restaurant Jan. 23 and shoved a customer seated by the window.

As the chef came out to ask Mirafzali to leave, he allegedly picked up a metal bar stool and hurled it at the chef.

Police say Mirafzali has a history of causing problems in the Castro.

"Many merchants and residents knew who he was — he’s a habitual nuisance and is known to be violent in the past," said Castro beat officer Lisa Frazer, who has confronted Mirafzali on several occasions. "He does nothing but harass our community and has openly made homophobic remarks."

Dan Glazer, who has owned the Hot Cookie bakery for the last 10 years, said he had been warned about Mirafzali from other merchants. In an area that can sometimes be a safe haven for transients, Glazer said there are often two kinds.

"There’s some that are peaceful and harmless and keep only to themselves," Glazer said. "Then there’s the others — who are definitely dangerous."

eeconomides@examiner.com

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