Suspect in Sexual Assault Cases Pleads Not Guilty and Residents React to His Arrest

En Español.

The suspect in three sexual assault cases plead not guilty Friday morning to all 26 charges against him.

The defendant,32-year-old Federick Dozier, his hands cuffed behind his back, and glancing quickly at the cluster of 10 friends and family in courtroom, said “Yes,” when Judge Gerardo Sandoval asked if Dozier understood that he was waving his rights to a speedy trial. No bail was set and the proceedings were over in less than 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, residents of Bernal Dwellings, where Frederick Dozier was arrested last week as a suspect in three Mission District sexual assault cases, reacted this week with a mix of outrage that a suspect had been in their midst and unhappiness that their home is being associated with the attacks. Dozier wasn’t one of us, many residents of the low-income housing complex wanted others to know.

“He don’t live here. He’s not part of this community,” said one man who, like others, refused to give his name. He shook his head, upset that people think Dozier lived in Bernal. “He’s just a visitor,” he said, explaining that Dozier actually lives in Bayview and stays with a friend here.

Two people, one of whom formerly worked with Dozier, said the suspect was staying with his girlfriend, who lives in Bernal Dwellings. It was there that police arrested him on Jan. 6 at 4:30 p.m. He was charged Wednesday with 26 felony counts.

Greg Goldman, his defense attorney, told Mission Loc@l Friday morning that it would take months for the defense to analyse and examine all of the evidence against Dozier including DNA samples. A discovery trial to make sure the defense has all of the evidence against Dozier will take place Feb 23.

Around Bernal earlier in the week, residents expressed relief at Dozier’s arrest but left it unclear why they appeared to suspect the man that some knew.

“I’m glad the police got him,” said the local man who used to work with Dozier … “because if they didn’t it would have been something worse. He would have been dead.”

The man, who asked to remain anonymous, has known Dozier for five years. He said Dozier seemed “like a normal person.”

“It’s hard for anybody to speak on anything” around here, he said, referring to this community’s reluctance to speak up about criminal activity in the neighborhood. Still, many didn’t hesitate to make their disapproval of Dozier’s alleged offenses known.

“He’s making us look bad,” said one man loudly as he left the corner grocery store, throwing his hands in the air and echoing the sentiments of another man who said the suspect was just freeloading off a friend who lives in Bernal Dwellings.

Police received dozens of tips from Mission residents, one of which eventually led to Dozier’s arrest. One man who was hanging out on Folsom Street indicated that information may have come from someone associated with Bernal Dwellings.

“I think everybody knew. They just didn’t want to believe it,” the man said, offering no concrete evidence. No one wants to be labeled a snitch, he said.

Many at Bernal and the surrounding neighborhood shook their heads in disbelief — “Oh, Fred?” — when they realized the topic of conversation. The former coworker said nothing struck him about Dozier, with whom he had occasionally had a drink. “He was a very good person, don’t get me wrong — until he got angry.”

Dozier seemed very normal, the man said, adding that he wore a good mask. It’s unclear what precisely led to the arrest, but police said the case was also based on DNA evidence.

“I feel hurt, because he’s been around my daughters and stuff,” the man said. Recalling some of the details of the recent sexual assaults, he added, “…and a 50-year-old woman,” shaking his head and pausing. “That coulda been my mother.”

Of the other assaults, he said, “It could have been my daughter.”

The first sexual assault happened on June 17, 2011; the second on Nov. 18. The incidents became more violent with each act. In the third attack, on Dec. 8 near 24th and Fair Oaks, the assailant allegedly choked the victim until she was unconscious. When the victim woke up to find the attacker sexually assaulting her, he punched her and smashed her face into the sidewalk before fleeing with her bag, according to police.

“I’m thinking everybody’s hurting, especially as much love as we’ve been putting out to him,” said the man. Others hanging out on Folsom Street expressed less love and more disapproval.

“I won’t hold anything back. I’ll be honest. We’re glad the cops got him,” the ex-coworker said, adding that the feeling was widespread.

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11 Comments

  1. sfmissionman

    A very well written, informative article. There seems to be a mix of attitudes amongst the Bernal Dwellings residents interviewed. The take home for me, as a neighbor, is that, for whatever reasons, Bernal Dwellings is a distinct negative. Whether guys like Dozier are residents or long term visitors, they’re still there, and so are a lot of other criminals involved in a much higher level of violence immediately adjacent to the project. I’d like to embrace it, but I can’t. I wish it were merely a haven for the poor, but it isn’t.

    • Neighbor

      Well said. It may have the facade of a gentrified apartment complex, but it still is what its residents are.

  2. LAC

    It is a shame that the SFPD took so long to capture him, they had plenty of evidence from the June 17th assault and they did nothing about it. I know the first victim and SFPD did not do any investigations until Dec 08th attack, not until then my friend got contacted by the police to follow up about her case. SFPD could have prevented the other attacks but didnt do their job investigating the first case. I am glad they got him but it is too late he has already caused a great deal of pain to my Friend and her family. She is damaged for the rest of her life.

    • nathalie

      Yes because it happened in the inner mission where when something bad happens it is considered “expected”, as it is the mission. Things started to really move forward when the last assault occurred close to noe valley that is wealthier. I bet, but i hope i am wrong, if that last assault had not happened so close to a rich neighborhood, the suspect would still be roaming 24th.

      • I completely agree with nathalie. The Inner Mission deserves the same service, attention and security as Noe Valley gets. It’s time to change the city’s attitude toward the Mission.

      • sfmissionman

        There are a number of factors at play, one of which may very well have been the level of citizen outrage which escalated markedly after the Fair Oaks event. No question that officialdom pays more attention when citizens get noisy. Why that did not occur after the first two may say more about the neighborhood than the cops. Also, please note that the rapes got increasingly violent over time. And please note further that, finally, someone at Bernal Dwellings – apparently – “snitched.” That’s what broke the case. You might ask those at Bernal Dwellings who were suspicious all along why no one spoke up until they did. That was a key factor. Surely the “wealth” of the third victim was not a factor.

  3. You cannot deny the fact that some people who live and hangout in the Bernal Dwellings commit crimes. My girlfriend’s purse was snatched two nights ago and the guy ran into the dwellings. If you want the neighbors to have a better image of the B.D. community, then you have to do something about the punks that hang out on 26th St. across from the store.

  4. TC

    3 women brutally raped because Dozier’s neighbors didn’t want to snitch. Economics has NOTHING to do with the way the SFPD handled this case. The criminals in B.D. as well as the rest of the Mission are becoming more brazen and attacks more frequent. These thugs have now turned their attention on to us, the law abiding citizens of the neighborhood, to rape, steal, mug, assault and murder. When do we stand up and fight back? How?

    • nathalie

      People on Fair Oaks and around are organized in neighborhood watch. I think it makes a difference. From what i understand it is them who organized the community meeting where there was the police, and different organizations talking about safety tips. I think they helped make things move forward. Also the supervisor Wiener was very eager to have things done. I think the community’s involvement made a difference. And it started with the neighborhood watch. where i live there is none of that. i am new to all this, so i am a bit lost. i live on 24th and harrison

    • sfmissionman

      The reason there is no “neighborhood watch” where you (and I) live is because a significant number of your neighbors are themselves criminal. Five parcels adjoin my parcel. In fifteen years, these parcels have been the site of a BATF raid (weapons trafficking), SFPD digging up a back yard, two fatal OD’s, a weapon discharge resulting in my window being shot out, a pit bull puppy mill, a health department trash clean up order, and an on-going drug sales house. Additionally, a murder in the street, and numerous other street shootings, the perps being locals. There’s no mystery why the neighborhood – including Bernal Dwellings – does not cooperate with law enforcement. Lots of criminals, and the others they support.

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