This was all a long time ago. September 9, 2008: a very bad evening, beginning at an old kid club called City Nights, down on Harrison, between Lapu and Third. The over and under is 18 and 21. A lot of grinding and hormonics; sex in the corners, long lines for the loos. Ratchets from San Ramon and San Jose and San whatever looking to go somewhere with boys who like to go somewhere with ratchets.
Coincidentally, that very same September 9th some yelper wrote a reminisce about the club. Talking about times before 2008. “We smuggled in booze, and partied while listening to the DJ play this one track over and over. “How does it feel.” By New Order. I wish someone had a camera and filmed a night at this place back then. Imagine the movie, “Less Than Zero.” That basically sums it up. I can’t believe the place is still open. Unreal. But today (2008), it seems like this place is probably geared toward the Too fast too furious, Tokyo Adrift crowd?”
Too fast, too furious and in walks Michael Bailey, 26, the too good guy, on his last night, with the wife and two kids back in Baton Rouge, where he’s learning electrical engineering at Southern University, and here he is in Baghdad-by-the-Bay, on vaycay, checking out the clubs with two guys from Louisiana and Oakland respectively.
And everything is cool. It’s all phat. Right up to 3 a.m. when a young lady named Ariel Kittles comes into focus. She’s no ratchet, just a young lady who lost her car keys and would be ever so appreciative for a ride home.
And where would that be? That would be in Double Rock, which would have no meaning to Michael Bailey from Baton Rouge. He would be shocked to know, but soon to learn that down in the shadows of the ‘stick, there’s a street corner at Fitzgerald and Griffith that police call the “kill zone”.
Double Rock is also pit bull fighting heaven and crack heaven. It’s the name of a place and a gang and a fake heaven.
In some years, one out of three homicides in San Francisco are committed within a square mile of Fitzgerald and Griffith. Griffith, as in the Alice Griffith Housing Project, an urban shanty town, where hopes are as dilapidated as the buildings. And by the way, who was Alice Griffith? Nobody knows. Not residents or advocates or search engines. Not a clue. Evidentially, some lady activist whose name got stuck on a salve for an injured community circa 1962.
So on September 9, 2008 Bailey and his friends drive Ms. Kittles home. And when they arrive, four men get up out of the darkness, including misters Lance Molina and William Jones. There’s a conversation. Something gets said; it’s lead hot. Maybe Bailey didn’t know the face value of a word or he didn’t know the etiquette that goes with robbery in San Francisco. Jones put him down with some bullets and he and Molina walked away. Bailey’s friends got him as far as the hospital but no further.
Aftermath. June 20, 2014. The jury finds Ms. Kittles, 25: not guilty on all charges, which included murder, conspiracy to commit robbery and three counts of robbery. Lance Molina, 27, of San Francisco: guilty of first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit robbery, participation in a criminal street gang, and three counts of robbery. William Jones, 25, of San Francisco, the shooter: ditto, plus guilty of assault with a firearm and “other firearm related charges”.
A third man out of the darkness that night, Maurice Lige, age 22, left the jury hanging.
SFDA says this is the “first time a jury has convicted members of “Double Rock” for participating in a criminal street gang.”
According to the prosecutor in the case, ADA Eric Fleming, “A crucial witness came forward to testify at trial, and two surviving victims had to relive the horror of seeing Michael Bailey murdered. The San Francisco Police Department conducted a top-notch investigation. Together we used all the resources possible to ensure these guilty verdicts.”
KTVU: Trial opens in 2009 slaying of tourist
YouTube: How Does it Feel