Man acquitted in Clementina Street assault case, did not assault the ‘sheriff’ 

Looks like the so-called sheriff of Clementina Street may have been working outside his jurisdiction.

A man accused of assaulting a man who reportedly claimed to be the sheriff of Clementina Street in San Francisco was acquitted of all charges Friday after a jury determined he acted in self-defense, the Public Defender's Office announced today.

Albert Taylor, 51, was found not guilty on two counts of misdemeanor assault with a deadly weapon, one count of simple battery and one count of terrorist threats, according to his public defender, Jack Lamar. If convicted, he faced up to two years in jail.

Taylor was arrested Aug. 9 over a longstanding feud with Rex Wallace, 52, who referred to himself as the sheriff of Clementina Street, the Public Defender's Office said in a statement.

The feud was in regards to Taylor's right to use Clementina Street near Eighth Street. Taylor, a former massage therapist who suffers from a back injury, would typically collect bottles and cans in the area for recycling. Wallace, who is homeless, reportedly banned Taylor from using that strip of Clementina Street after an argument.

On that day, Taylor saw Wallace on Natoma Street and figured it was safe to take a shortcut on Clementina Street. However, when he entered the alley, Wallace was there and confronted Taylor.

As Taylor passed, Wallace said, "What are you doing here? You've been 86'd."

Wallace then reportedly struck Taylor in the ear with a 3-foot tree branch. Taylor picked up a wooden pallet and used it as a shield until it became too heavy. He then grabbed a metal tripod from his recycling cart and swung it at Wallace.

Wallace testified in court that he is a practitioner of Eskrima, the Filipino art of stick-fighting. He was not injured during the confrontation.

Taylor was taken to the hospital for the injury to his ear.

Wallace told police that Taylor tried to stab him with a piece of wood that splintered off the pallet and threatened to kill him. Those accusations were not supported by witnesses at the trial.

"The law says you can use reasonable force to defend yourself and that is exactly what Mr. Taylor did," Lamar said.

Public Defender Jeff Adachi lauded the jury's verdict.

"Mr. Taylor stood up to a bully who attacked him for traveling down a public street," he said. "Thankfully, he had a public defender who could tell his side of the story and a jury who carefully considered the evidence."

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