By Kevin Fagan
Pinching a homeless guy for pointing Percy at the park instead of the porcelain was ultimately pointless because it wasn’t perverted, a San Francisco Superior Court jury said this week.
The homeless defendant, Mr. Hernandez, was accused of flashing a mother and her 4-year-old child on August 11 when he pulled out his penis to, by his account, pee at Franklin Square Park on Bryant and 16th streets. The 29-year-old woman said she thought the 38-year-old Hernandez had an erection when he swung his male equipment within her view — but Hernandez told the jury he only turned because he heard an eruption of noise from a nearby soccer game and wanted to see who scored.
Hernandez — who wound up on the streets recently when he lost his job as a wine buyer – told investigators he thought everyone nearby was too absorbed in the game to notice what he was doing. He then took off his shoes and sat down to also watch the game, his defense attorney said. That’s where police officers who’d been summoned by the outraged mother arrested him.
The jury on Wednesday took one hour of deliberations, after a two-day trial, to find Hernandez not guilty of a misdemeanor count of indecent exposure.
“Mr. Hernandez may have made an unwise decision about where to urinate, but that innocent mistake should not brand him for life as a sex offender who preys upon women and children when it simply isn’t true,” San Francisco Public Defender Jeff Adachi said in a statement.
Prosecutors gracefully absorbed their case being flushed, saying two days of court proceedings were worth the effort.
“It was a public park, and it was a mom with a 4-year-old,” said district attorney spokesman Alex Bastian. “That’s why we took it to trial. But we respect the jury’s decision.”