Cops: Man Accused of Dousing Neighbor in Boiling Oil Had Lengthy Criminal Record

Categories: Crime
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When San Francisco police followed a trail of splattered grease down the hall of the Rose Hotel to William Pious' room and arrested him for allegedly dousing a sleeping neighbor with a pan of boiling cooking oil, it was not the 50-year-old's first brush with the law.

The SFPD states that Pious was convicted in San Francisco on a burglary charge in 1995 and a narcotics rap in 1981, and spent the years in-between -- and perhaps since -- racking up a "long history of counts" in Los Angeles.

Police spokeswoman Sergeant Lyn Tomioka claims Pious has a lengthy record in L.A.  that includes felony convictions -- evidently, he served at least one stint in state prison, as he has a series of parole violations. The SFPD did not have specifics in hand on Pious' L.A. history, however. SF Weekly's multiple calls to the LAPD and state Department of Corrections haven't yet been returned.

Pious has been charged with counts of assault with a deadly weapon and aggrivated mayhem stemming from the weekend San Francisco incident, and remains in custody. He is accused of entering the room of a 44-year-old neighbor with whom he had an "ongoing dispute." After walking through the door -- which was supposedly left open because it was a hot night -- Pious is charged with emptying a pan of boiling oil on the neighbor, which left the victim with third-degree burns over 30 percent of his body.

The SFPD has not released the name of the victim, who remains in General Hospital's intensive care unit and has not yet been able to speak to police. Tomioka described the burns as "life-threatening."

Located at 125 Sixth Street, the Rose Hotel is owned by a partnership in which Mercy Housing is the managing general partner. The hotel has 75 units, all single occupancy, and primarily caters to low-income, formerly homeless men.

Mercy Housing California's San Francisco-based president, Jane Graf, was unaware of the weekend incident, and exclaimed "Oh God," when told of the oil-dousing allegations. She declined any further comment on Pious' history in the building or whether this is the first alleged instance of problematic behavior from the tenant.

"My guess is no one is going to make any comment on something that I assume is a police issue," she said. "We certainly wouldn't comment on anything related to Mr. Pious."

When asked how often police are called to the Rose Hotel, she replied "I'm sure no more than anywhere else on Sixth Street."

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