The two San Francisco men who have been charged with assaulting members of the Baker’s Dozen a cappella group have surrendered to the local police department and are awaiting arraignment.
Richard Aicardi, 19, who is charged with two counts of assault and one count of battery against Evan Gogel ’10 and William Bailey ’10, turned himself in to authorities Wednesday morning and posted $120,000 bail. Brian Dwyer, 19, who is charged with one count of assault and one of battery against Gogel, surrendered Tuesday and was freed on $80,000 bail. The District Attorney’s office said the arraignment date has not yet been set.
At a press conference Monday evening, San Francisco District Attorney Kamala Harris announced the arrest warrants for Aicardi and Dwyer, who allegedly orchestrated “a group attack on innocent victims.” Harris has since faced criticism for not charging the other three leading suspects — James and Michael Aicardi, Richard Aicardi’s brothers, and Marino Peradotto. She has not charged anyone for the attack made upon the most seriously injured student, Sharyar Aziz ’10.
District Attorney’s office representative Debbie Mesloh said Harris will “certainly take action” if new evidence emerges linking more suspects to the attack or linking either of the two apprehended men to the assault on Aziz.
“No one would be more gratified to be able to hold every person accountable on this attack on the young men than the DA,” she said. “Unfortunately, we just didn’t have the evidence needed to charge other individuals.”
Mesloh said the office is currently working on an arraignment schedule for Aicardi and Dwyer.
Dwyer admitted to having violent intentions on the night of the party, but Aicardi claimed that he was acting in self-defense during a fight.
Dwyer’s attorney Tony Brass asked members of the press not to judge his client too harshly.
“There’s more than one side to every story,” he said.
Reno Rapagnani, the owner of the home in which the New Year’s party was held, said that despite speculation, the defendants will not have to go to jail. He said he thinks that the nature of the case should merit a felony conviction and, at the very least, a sentence in a county prison.
Rapagnani said the defense attorneys will likely point to allegations of alcohol use at the party and claim that “boys will be boys” to justify the violent act.
“That’s all well and good, but you don’t chase victims down, throw them on the ground and proceed to kick them in the head and shoulders,” he said. “That kind of force is likely to produce great bodily harm, and you could kill somebody.”
Mitigating factors for the defendants could include the fact that Dwyer came forward and admitted his role and that neither man has a criminal record, Rapagnani said.
Sharyar Aziz ’74, the father of Sharyar Aziz ’10, said while he was glad to hear that charges had been filed against some of the assailants, he was upset and confused over why the evidence was not deemed sufficient to prosecute those who attacked his son.
“I’m extraordinarily disappointed and frustrated that after nine weeks of investigation they were not able to identify the assailants who hurt my son,” he said.
Aziz’s lawyer Whitney Leigh is currently considering filing a civil lawsuit against five of the suspects who attacked the a cappella group.
“We will pursue all legal avenues that are available to us in order to bring the individuals who attacked Sharyar to justice,” Aziz said.