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Update: Accused Bus Vandal Pleads Not Guilty

Gregory Graniss of Novato faces charges of ransacking a San Francisco bus during a Giants' World Series celebration.

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.

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Kristi Frlekin November 06, 2012 at 12:10 AM
Let me get this straight: So pleading Not Guilty but admitting you are responsible makes since in what dimension?
Unfiltered Steve Simoneau November 06, 2012 at 12:11 AM
While the behavior of Mr. Graniss is absolutely unacceptable and he should be punished, I do not agree with MUNI's value of the vehicle. If it just required $300,000 of "rehabilitative work", or 43% of the original cost, then it obviously was not a new vehicle. If I had an automobile that was destroyed, and it cost $30,000 new and had recently required $12,000 of "rehabilitative work", my auto insurance company certainly would NOT reimburse me for $42,000. It would determine the value based on depreciation. I'm also certain that MUNI's vehicle insurance company would have done the same if this was covered under their policy.
Claire November 06, 2012 at 12:51 AM
I hope he will have to pay every penny of damages he caused, even if it takes many years. There is absolutely no excuse for such destructive behavior. As part of sentencing, I am sure he could benefit from anger management classes and perhaps other psychological counseling as well.
NovatoGuy November 06, 2012 at 03:41 AM
What a total goober this freak is.
SP November 06, 2012 at 05:32 AM
The kid is less than intelligent and blew it. Hold him accountable legally and fiscally. He assumed a mortgage as far as I am concerned and he can pay it off over thirty years. Being a jerk and then crying about how sorry you are only makes you a crying jerk! Man enough to beat in a bus with a pole with people on board, man enough to pay the piper. Quit sniveling you entitled brat.
Novatan November 06, 2012 at 02:20 PM
First-time offender? Slight fine, probation and restitution for the windshield. Hope he learns from his mistake.
SP November 06, 2012 at 04:16 PM
@Novatan, there were people on the bus! Committing a crime should have consequences that people are afraid of and "stupid should hurt." Heavy fine, 30 days in jail (out in ten on good behavior anyway), restitution, community service and a lengthy probation. That will provide enough time for it to sink in.

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