San Francisco, CA— A skateboarder who defended himself in a road rage incident between himself and the driver of a SUV was found not guilty on Wednesday, San Francisco Public Defender Jeff Adachi announced today.
Marcus Huckabee, 31, was charged with battery and vandalism, both misdemeanors, stemming from an incident that occurred on April 4th of this year.
The defendant, who has no record of violence, faced up to 30 days in jail if convicted, said Deputy Public Defender Lilah Wolf.
Huckabee was on his skateboard going down Northpoint Street in the bike lane when a SUV pulled out of a hotel parking lot and nearly hit him, he testified. Evidence showed that the SUV then chased after Huckabee, eventually swerving into the bike lane and slamming on his brakes, which caused the defendant to careen into the back of the vehicle.
When Huckabee made contact with the SUV– putting his hands out to stop himself from being thrown into the back window– he dented the car, injuring himself in the process. For this he was charged with vandalism.
Huckabee testified that he picked himself up off the ground and saw that the driver was attempting to get out of the car. Huckabee said that he feared what the SUV driver might do next. The driver appeared to be reaching for something that the defendant thought could be a weapon. It was out of this potential threat of further attack that the defendant struck the driver three times with his fist through the car window, he said.
A Metro Transit Authority officer witnessed Huckabee strike the driver, but did not see anything that led up to that event. Huckabee was arrested for battery.
After reviewing all the evidence and hearing from both the SUV driver and the defendant, the jury found Huckabee not guilty on both counts of vandalism and battery.
“They found him credible when he said he acted in self-defense,” said Wolf. “The case was about Mr. Huckabee’s visceral fear that the driver was going to hurt him.”
Adachi said that this was a classic case of the police arresting the wrong man.
“If the authorities had done due-diligence in this case, they would have arrested the SUV driver, not our client,” he said. “We are grateful that the jurors saw the truth and voted accordingly.”