Man acquitted of Mission District felonies

A man charged with multiple felonies after an argument turned violent in San Francisco’s Mission District last year has been acquitted of most charges, the San Francisco Public Defender’s Office said Tuesday.

Darren Cubie, 39, was arrested after a May 11 fight that occurred in the 100 block of Capp Street.

Police said at the time that Cubie had punched the victim, a man in his 40s, multiple times and then stomped on his head after he fell to the ground, leaving the man unconscious with severe head trauma.

During the trial, however, defense attorneys presented evidence that the injuries to the alleged victim occurred after the older man allegedly attacked Cubie, first at a Capp Street neighborhood services center and then again outside on the street. An eyewitness testified that the man lunged at Cubie with a box cutter before Cubie punched him, according to his defense attorneys.

A jury acquitted Cubie of mayhem, battery with a serious bodily injury and assault causing serious bodily injury, while a judge acquitted him of a torture charge before it went to the jury, and prosecutors dropped a petty theft charge, according to defense attorneys. Cubie was convicted of misdemeanor simple assault.

“I believe that the jury understood the fear Mr. Cubie must have felt when being confronted with a knife,” Deputy Public Defender Elizabeth Hilton said. “The verdict demonstrates that they felt he acted in lawful self-defense for the majority of the struggle.”

Cubie was released from jail on Monday.