Man to stand trial in anti-gay battery of child
by Seth Hemmelgarn
A man who allegedly elbowed an 11-year-old boy and called him a "faggot" has been ordered to stand trial.
Nicholas Frabasilio, 46, faces battery and child endangerment charges in the case, which is being prosecuted as a hate crime. Frabasilio, who was recently convicted in another case involving battery and appears to have made anti-gay remarks numerous times over the past several months, was in San Francisco Superior Court Wednesday, February 6 for a preliminary hearing.
During the hearing, Xuan Vo, 30, the boy's aunt, testified that on January 21 she and other family members were by an elevator at Portsmouth Square in the Chinatown district.
She said that as Frabasilio walked by, he put his arms up and hit her nephew's cheek with his elbow.
"He was shocked," Vo said of the child. "We were all shocked." She added her nephew "looked scared."
San Francisco police Officer David On testified that a family member told him that after the incident, Frabasilio had raised his fist in the air and said, "Yeah, I fucked up that faggot boy." A backpack allegedly belonging to Frabasilio with a patch that said "Heterosexual" was at the scene.
The child, who was wearing a pink sweater, had been playing with a toy before the incident, Vo said. She also testified that nobody in the family had had contact with Frabasilio prior to him allegedly elbowing her nephew.
Frabasilio is in custody on $75,000 bail. With the hate crime allegations, the charges he faces are felonies. Court records indicate that at his January 24 arraignment, Superior Court Judge Monica F. Wiley ordered an examination related to Frabasilio's mental health.
After the brief hearing Wednesday, Wiley said there was "satisfactory" and "sufficient" evidence to hold Frabasilio on all counts and allegations. She ordered him to next appear in court February 20 for arraignment.
Before the session, Deputy Public Defender Ariel Boyce-Smith declined to comment on the case.
On September 18, a jury found Frabasilio guilty on misdemeanor counts of assault and battery. According to court documents, Frabasilio had punched an employee of the Trader Joe's supermarket on Bay Street in the face. The strike broke her glasses and resulted in her suffering a cut upper lip.
The police report of the August 2 incident says that Frabasilio had been inside the store "creating problems by being loud and yelling at customers," and that there had been "previous problems with him." The victim, who declined the Bay Area Reporter 's interview request, and others had asked him to leave and were escorting him out when he attacked her, according to police.
Frabasilio received three years of probation with a suspended sentence of about six months in the case, and credit for time served of 30 days. (Some court documents list the defendant's name as Frababilio).
The day he was convicted, one of many Facebook messages that Frabasilio apparently authored was posted to the page for the Straight Liberation Movement.
"I had been asked to leave for objecting to being sexually harassed by a gay male employee," the message says, referring to the August incident.
The note also refers to Frabasilio's time in custody.
"The conditions at the jail are horrendous, and exponentially so for heterosexual men ... . Why do they separate the straight male and female prisoners from eachother (sic), and then put us in with the gays and lesbians respectively, to be preyed upon by them?"
Frabasilio appears to be the Straight Liberation site's administrator and most of the comments on the page bear his name.
Court records indicate it wasn't long after Frabasilio's conviction before a man working at Westside Community Services, a South of Market area agency that provides behavioral health and other services, had trouble with him.
In documents filed October 23, the man said that Frabasilio had used chalk to write "huge letters" in front of the clinic calling him a "gay harasser." The man, who said that Frabasilio was a new patient at the agency, sought a restraining order, but the request was denied. The B.A.R. wasn't able to reach the man for comment.
Apparently around the same time, a flier with the headline "Defend heteronormativity" was posted on a city street.
The flier said, "Local anarchist activist, Nick Frabasilio, has been under attack for many years and had his life ruined by Mr. Bang for being a real activist." The flier was signed Straight Liberation Movement and Bay Area Right to Sit/Lie.
The bulletin referred to "Aragorn Bang," who it said was one of the people responsible for a plan "which essentially abolishes heterosexuality and forces straights to share their sexuality with the queers," among other complaints.
"The East Bay Anarchist Bookfair December 1 in Oakland is one of [Bang's] theatrical recreations," the flier, which called for a demonstration at the event, said. Much of the text from the bulletin is also posted under Frabasilio's name to the Straight Liberation Movement Facebook page.
In a brief call with the B.A.R. in late November, a woman with the book fair who didn't give her name acknowledged Frabasilio was "protesting a member of the book fair community." Asked what his problem with the person was, she said, "That's a complicated question." Reached again last week, the woman said she couldn't talk at the time, and she didn't respond to a subsequent phone message.
Frabasilio appears to have posted many other anti-gay remarks on the Straight Liberation Movement Facebook page. A May 13 message refers to the 37-year-old transgender woman who'd been murdered in downtown Oakland two weeks beforehand.
"So there is going to be yet another protest for 'Brandy Martell,' this 'transgender' 'woman,'" the note says. "... The gays, including large numbers of whites, are currently trying to take over downtown Oakland, making them the front line of gentrifying Oakland. Forward to the straight liberation movement – take back our streets."
Besides the attempt at a restraining order, other recent San Francisco court records list Frabasilio as a defendant in an unlawful detainer lawsuit involving a Geary Boulevard apartment.
It isn't clear what Frabasilio's punishment might be if he's convicted on the current charges.
Anyone with information that may be helpful in Frabasilio's prosecution is asked to call Assistant District Attorney Victor Hwang at (415) 734-3104.