Man in Badlands incident acquitted

  • by Seth Hemmelgarn
  • Wednesday June 13, 2012
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A man who had been charged with theft after an incident at Badlands bar in the Castro was recently acquitted.

A San Francisco Superior Court jury found Ricardo Delaguardia, 48, not guilty on a misdemeanor charge of grand theft from a person. The jury returned the verdict May 22.

According to a report from the San Francisco Police Department, Delaguardia was accused of taking another man's wallet at Badlands, 4121 18th Street, on February 12.

Delaguardia, of San Jose, denied taking the wallet, but he allegedly had handed it to David O'Neil, 58, of San Francisco. O'Neil has denied wrongdoing.

Police reported that they arrested Delaguardia, O'Neil, and Zonya Sisto, 33, of Las Vegas, in connection with the incident, in which $100 was allegedly taken from the wallet.

Alex Bastian, a spokesman for the district attorney's office, said last week that Delaguardia had faced a felony grand theft charge, but it was reduced to a misdemeanor over the prosecution's objection.

Delaguardia had also been charged with felony possession of Norco, a controlled substance also known as acetaminophen and hydrocodone, without a prescription. But Deputy Public Defender Anita Nabha said that that charge was dismissed because he had a valid prescription for the medication.

No charges were filed against O'Neil or Sisto. After a motion from the public defender's office, the court found Sisto had been detained, but not arrested, Bastian said.

Delaguardia is "very much relieved to have his name cleared and have this nightmare ended," Nabha said.