Issue:  Vol. 48 / No. 3 / 18 January 2018

New details in Castro beating case


Chad Ferreira
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New information obtained by the Bay Area Reporter in the January 30 beating death of Chad Ferreira in the Castro includes an explanation by the alleged killer, Kyle Adams, and chilling details from witnesses about the incident.

Adams, 24, denied to police that he kicked Ferreira, 27, while Ferreira was unconscious and on the ground despite numerous witness accounts to the contrary, according to an affidavit filed by police in support of Adams's arrest warrant. Adams insisted that he acted in self-defense to prevent being attacked by Ferreira. He also said that he acted in self-defense when he punched Ferreira's friend in an earlier confrontation.

Adams pleaded not guilty last week in San Francisco Superior Court to one charge of manslaughter and two counts of assault. Ferreira's mother and at least one witness to the incident have criticized authorities for charging the case as manslaughter and not murder.

Numerous witnesses listed in the affidavit contradict Adams's statement that he did not return to kick Ferreira. One witness said that Adams kicked Ferreira's head "like a soccer ball." Another witness said that Ferreira's head moved back from the force of the hit. A third witness said that Adams said, "fuck this, fuck this" as he kicked Ferreira in the head. A fourth witness said that Adams tried to kick Ferreira a second time in the head but he was able to shield Ferreira from the hit. The affidavit did not name any of the witnesses. Each was assigned a number to shield their identities.

Police say the incident began when Adams allegedly punched one of Ferreira's friends and then fought with Ferreira after he confronted Adams about hitting his friend. The fight between Ferreira and Adams happened about 2 a.m. on Monday, January 30, in front of the Rolo store on Market Street, near Castro.

According to the affidavit, Adams said he arrived at the Bar on Castro with his roommate around 10:30 p.m. on Sunday, January 29. He left the bar around closing time at 1:45 a.m. When he walked past the Chevron station at the corner of Castro and Market, he said he confronted a friend of Ferreira's who was yelling things at him. Adams told police that Ferreira's friend threw the first punch and that he was able to avoid being hit.   He said that he then punched the man back in self-defense. According to the report, that man was knocked unconscious and was taken to a hospital but did not require hospitalization.

The San Francisco District Attorney's office apparently does not believe Adams's claim of self-defense in that confrontation. One of the two counts of assault that the DA's office has charged Adams with is for allegedly assaulting Ferreira's friend.

Adams said he was walking away from the gas station with a friend when Ferreira approached him. He said he and Ferreira got into a shoving and punching match. He said that Ferreira knocked him to the ground, sat on him, and Ferreira continued to hit him. He said that his friend helped pull Ferreira off him but Ferreira followed and threw a punch at him as he approached. He said that was when he hit Ferreira in self-defense. Witnesses said that Ferreira fell to the curb and his head slammed into the concrete.

Adams said that he then left the scene. Ferreira was rushed to San Francisco General Hospital. He was pronounced dead on Saturday, February 4. Friends say he was brain dead and had been kept on life-support for several days.

Cause of death

The affidavit also revealed that the medical examiner found that Ferreira's death was caused by "blunt force trauma" that resulted in skull fractures, with injuries on two different "planes" of his skull from "two separate events." The medical examiner's   report concluded that both events contributed to Ferreira's death. The report appears to back witnesses who described Ferreira's head being injured twice, first when he slammed into the concrete, and then later when Adams allegedly returned to kick him.

Adams filed a police report on Tuesday, January 31, alleging that Ferreira had assaulted him. Homicide inspectors interviewed Adams about his report on February 6. He was arrested at his South of Market apartment on March 3 after a warrant was issued for his arrest. He was booked into San Francisco County jail on $250,000 bail.

San Francisco Chief Assistant District Attorney Russ Giuntini told the B.A.R. last week that he couldn't comment on the evidence in the case but he said that it was a "problematic case" and involved issues of mutual combat, self-defense, Ferreira's cause of death, and Adams's mental state.

Adams's attorney, San Francisco Deputy Public Defender Mary Mallen, told the B.A.R. last week that Adams has no criminal history and that he acted in self-defense. Mallen did not return the B.A.R.'s call by press time this week about Adams's statements on the police affidavit. Adams remains in custody.

Ferreira's mother, Kathy Smith, and one of the witnesses to the incident, Jason Ashbaugh, are critical of authorities for not charging Adams with murder. Two legal analysts consulted by the B.A.R . last week said that the case could justify a second-degree murder charge but it is a judgment call by the DA's office.  

Ferreira once worked for Club Papi. His friend and former employer, Club Papi owner Jamie Awad, plans a public celebration of Ferreira's life on Saturday, April 8, at Obsecion @ Eight Nightclub & Lounge, 1151 Folsom Street, between 7th and 8th streets, in San Francisco. Money raised at the event will go to Ferreira's family. For more information visit and click on the Obsecion link.

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