The San Francisco Public Defender’s office announced today that a man who had been charged with carrying a loaded firearm was acquitted of felony charges. The man, 25-year-old Alberto Chan, had actually been trying to disarm an inebriated relative who had pulled a rifle out of his backpack unexpectedly.
Chan would have faced up to three years in prison if convicted. The officer who arrested Chan had not interviewed any of the witnesses at the BART station, the Public Defender’s statement said. When the 911 caller at the scene that night testified to a jury that the taller of the two men was the person who had originally held and assembled the rifle, Chan’s attorney showed that Chan was the shorter of the two men.
Chan said the officer who arrived on the scene did not speak any Spanish – Chan is a Mayan who speaks some Spanish – and did not question the relative, who tried to walk away from the scene and has a criminal history.
“Mr. Chan is a law-abiding father who works two jobs, six days a week to support his family,” said Public Defender Azita Ghafourpour in a statement. “Jurors found him to be very sincere. He was trying to do the right thing. He didn’t commit a crime.”