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Monday, January 23, 2012

Ross Mirkarimi's Second Alleged Domestic Violence Victim Speaks Out in SF Weekly Interview

Posted By on Mon, Jan 23, 2012 at 3:26 PM

Ross Mirkarimi
  • Ross Mirkarimi

UPDATE, 10:21 A.M., JAN. 24, 2012: Flores told us this morning that she would like to clarify a detail in the police report on her alleged abuse by Mirkarimi, which she had not seen before SF Weekly published it online yesterday. Mirkarimi did not grab her by both arms or shake her, as the report states, she said. Rather, "He grabbed one arm and pushed me to the wall," she said, leaving a bruise on her upper arm.

ORIGINAL STORY: We reported today that a second alleged victim of Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi -- the newly elected sheriff and former supervisor who was arraigned last week on misdemeanor counts of domestic violence, child endangerment, and dissuading a witness related to the alleged physical abuse of his current wife -- reported to police over the weekend that Mirkarimi abused her while they were dating.

The woman asked that her name be withheld when she filed her complaint with the San Francisco Police Department. However, she agreed to speak on the record to SF Weekly about her relationship with Mirkarimi and reasons for stepping forward now.

She is Christina Flores, a former San Francisco resident and ex-wife of SFPD Domestic Violence Response Team Inspector Tony Flores. She told police that Mirkarimi was often verbally abusive and on one occasion resorted to physical violence during an argument with her, grabbing her arm and pinning her against the wall at his house.

Flores tells SF Weekly that she made the police report in order to alert law-enforcement authorities that she is at their disposal as a character witness in the ongoing prosecution of Mirkarimi, and because she is concerned about the well-being of Mirkarimi's wife, Eliana Lopez.

"The reason I decided to talk now, now it's involving a woman recanting something I know he is capable of," Flores said of Mirkarimi in a telephone interview. "He's like a pit bull. He snaps, and he gets mad, and he goes right for the jugular."

Flores said, "if they needed me to testify, I would testify gladly." She added that she has "nothing to gain" personally or politically from complaining to police.

Read our original story today on the second complaint against Ross Mirkarimi here.

View a copy of the police report on Flores' complaint here.

Read our examination of what this might mean for Mirkarimi's pending trial here.

Robert Waggener, Mirkarimi's criminal defense lawyer, did not return a call seeking comment.

Flores said she dated Mirkarimi from June 2007 through December 2008, and that the relationship often had problems stemming from Mirkarimi's inability to control his temper. "I'm a smart woman. This was a really stupid relationship. All my friends were tired of having me cry on their shoulders," she said.

"The reason I was with him is that even though he had a bad opinion of the police, he was trying to do the right thing" in his political career as a supervisor, she said.

However, she said Mirkarimi also had a "Jekyll-and-Hyde personality," and could "snap" during arguments. "He can go from very, very sweet to very, very cruel and belittling," she said. She added that Mirkarimi's angry spells most often seemed to be directed at women.

"This is somebody who does this primarily to women and takes pride in the fact he's a big guy," she said of Mirkarimi, who is 6 feet tall and weighs 203 pounds.

Flores alleged in her statements to police that Mirkarimi grabbed her arm and shoved her to the wall, leaving a bruise. Yet she also tells SF Weekly that she wants to point out that, even absent such signs of an injury, Mirkarimi's behavior toward her was unacceptable.

"I believe he's going to dig his own grave, which is fine. But you don't take another woman down with you," she said, referring to Mirkarimi and Lopez. "I think women need to know that when someone is in your face yelling at you that that's also violence, and that is not okay."

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