By Bay City News Service
A Novato native who now lives in San Francisco pleaded not guilty to felony vandalism charges Monday after the window of a San Francisco Municipal Railway bus was smashed last week after the Giants' World Series victory.
The attorney for 22, said that his client acknowledges responsibility for the incident. Graniss also was charged with destroying a passenger transit vehicle — the 8X-Bayshore Express bus that he allegedly targeted during the revelry early on Oct. 29 after the Giants swept the Detroit Tigers to win the World Series.
A San Francisco Chronicle photographer captured a picture of a man smashing the windshield of the bus with a metal police barricade during the raucous celebration. The image was circulated widely, and social media users helped identify Graniss as the suspect. He turned himself in to police on Tuesday.
Graniss is out of custody on $40,000 bail and spoke briefly during his arraignment Monday to agree to waive his right to a speedy preliminary hearing. His attorney, Douglas Rappaport, said outside of court that Graniss is taking responsibility for the vandalism and asking for forgiveness from San Franciscans.
"The Giants' victory was amazing and it really brought out the best in San Francisco, and unfortunately the worst in Gregory," Rappaport said. "He is very ashamed of his actions and very, very sorry."
Assistant District Attorney Lindsay Hoopes said prosecutors may decide to file additional charges against Graniss at a later date because of the passengers on the bus who were endangered. Eight passengers and the bus driver got off the bus safely before other vandals lit it on fire, destroying it.
Police have not yet arrested the suspects responsible for the arson but released a video last week that was recorded by a bystander showing two suspects lighting the bus on fire.
Meantime, San Francisco Municipal Railway is out about $1 million because its insurance does not cover the damage to the bus, a Muni spokesman said. The 8X-Bayshore Express bus, which initially cost about $700,000 and had an additional $300,000 in rehabilitative work done on it recently, before it was set ablaze at Market and Third streets at about 12:30 a.m. Oct. 29.
Muni spokesman Paul Rose said the agency's insurance policy does not cover the damage caused by arson. That means Muni is responsible for the tab, aside from any restitution paid by people who may be found responsible for the vandalism.
The bus driver and eight passengers safely escaped before the vandals smashed its windows and set the vehicle on fire. The driver, Alan Yam, will be honored at the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency's board of directors meeting Tuesday for keeping everyone safe, Rose said.