William Turner in jail again: SFPD says he threatened a mom and her 2-year-old girl

A man who has run into trouble with the law in Berkeley, in connection with what’s been deemed inappropriate behavior with children, is back in jail this week after threatening a mother and her 2-year-old daughter in San Francisco, authorities report.

William Nicholas Turner, 37, was arrested Sunday afternoon in the Mission District, not far from the Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital, authorities said.

Officer Joseph Tomlinson, a spokesman for the San Francisco Police Department, said Turner had been at 23rd and Bryant streets at about 1:40 p.m. Sunday when he saw a mother and her daughter, 2, walking home.

“He saw them and threatened them,” Tomlinson said. “They were able to get away from him and contact the police, and he was arrested.”


Tomlinson said Turner did not physically injure either person, but made threats to them both. He said limited detail about the case is available due to the ongoing investigation.

The San Francisco sheriff’s office Inmate Locator website says Turner did not get to jail until Tuesday at about 10:15 a.m. Tomlinson said it wasn’t immediately clear where Turner had been, but it’s possible he might have been taken for a psychiatric evaluation. That happened numerous times in Berkeley; Turner has bipolar disorder, according to court testimony regarding Turner earlier this year.

Turner was arraigned Thursday, according to court records online, and is being held on $100,000 bond on suspicion of four felony violations: two counts of criminal threats, child endangerment and making a threat to an executive officer.

He is set to appear in court Friday at 9 a.m. at the Hall of Justice of the Superior Court of California, San Francisco, in Department 12. According to court records online, he was arraigned on the charges against him in the same courtroom Thursday afternoon.

Turner was last arrested in Berkeley in February after authorities said he grabbed two boys, ages 12 and 14, and asked them for “weed” as they walked to school. He made the boys “uncomfortable,” according to court papers, and was charged with two counts of battery.

Turner has also been tied to other bizarre interactions involving children in Berkeley over the past year, prompting police to put out a community warning with his photograph in September. In January, a jury was unable to reach a verdict in an indecent exposure case that landed Turner in jail, and he was released from custody. His defense attorney promised the trial judge Turner would take a bus home to Iowa, where his family had promised to help him. That didn’t happen.

Despite the January mistrial, the Alameda County Superior Court judge said Turner had violated the terms of his probation. But Turner skipped the Feb. 13 sentencing hearing for that violation, and was instead wandering around Berkeley, according to authorities. Police said he trespassed on one resident’s porch, and asked about finding Girl Scouts at the YWCA.


The next day, BPD Officer Kenneth Tu spotted Turner near two Berkeley schools, according to court papers. That’s when the boys told police Turner had grabbed them and asked about marijuana, authorities said. Turner was arrested and charged with two counts of battery, as well as disobeying the court order that prohibited him from being within 100 yards of Alameda County playgrounds and schools.

According to court records online, Turner was sentenced in late February to three years of probation in that case. He entered a “no contest” plea to the misdemeanor charge of disobeying a court order. The battery charges were dropped as part of the negotiated deal.