Champagne bottle attack justified, rules jury
A man who smashed his dubstep-loving co-worker over the head with a champagne bottle was acquitted of all charges Thursday, said SF Public Defender Jeff Adachi.
Jurors deliberated for six hours on whether San Francisco’s Gaspar Magisa was guilty of assault with a deadly weapon and battery with serious bodily injury.
If found guilty, Magisa would have faced five years in prison for the attack that left his co-worker with 17 stitches and two staples to the head.
The incident occurred at an office happy hour on April 27, 2012, where coworkers testified to becoming increasingly annoyed as the younger man repeatedly switched the music over to dubstep.
The 30-year-old man, who was described as “extremely drunk” by witnesses, was also seen inhaling nitrous oxide outside the office building.
When he returned, Adachi said the man:
“… switched from Michael Jackson’s ‘Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’ to a dubstep track and proceeded to dance.”
This is when 52-year-old Magisa, who had been pouring himself a glass of champagne, decided “something had to be done.”
As Magisa approached the laptop to switch it back to MJ, the younger man rushed towards Magisa with an angry look.
Judging from the younger co-worker’s violent past behavior, Magisa said he instinctively swung the champagne bottle at the man in self-defense.
During the weeklong trial, the employees of advertising firm AKQA testified to the younger man’s violent and belligerent behavior.
At an office Christmas party months before, witnesses said the man snuck up behind two separate co-workers in the urinal and poked his finger in one man’s eye, while smacking the other one’s head against the wall.
Later that same night, the office party moved to the Mission’s Zeitgeist bar, where the younger man’s conduct was getting him noticed by the bar’s bouncers.
Magisa walked him outside, where the young man picked up the older co-worker and body slammed him onto the sidewalk.
In a previous incident, Magisa had invited the younger man to his home for Thanksgiving. Witnesses testified that on his way to make a beer run, the young man got into a wrestling match with a homeless person instead.
The police officers who responded to the happy hour event also didn’t have much to say in the younger man’s defense.
According to one police officer, the young man was running in and out of traffic when medics arrived to the office building. Police had to handcuff him just to give him medical attention.
On the stand, the younger man denied being violent.
But perhaps he just couldn’t correctly recall his past behavior, because — y’know — nitrous oxide.
Deputy Public Defender Jacque Wilson, who represented Magisa in the case, said the jury heard all they needed to justify Magisa’s actions that day:
“The complaining witness was a bully who had injured people again and again. Mr. Magisa is a kind and gentle man, but wasn’t going to allow himself to be hurt again.”