SAN FRANCISCO—Two people were killed by a hit-and-run collision in San Francisco’s South of Market on New Year’s Eve by a paroled robber driving a stolen car. One woman died at the scene, while the other succumbed to her injuries in a local hospital. The victims have been identified as 27-year-old Hana Abe and 60-year-old Elizabeth Platt.
Authorities indicated the two pedestrians were crossing the intersection of Second and Mission Street around 4 p.m. when they were struck by the suspect. The San Francisco Police Department responded to the scene and requested emergency medical technicians (EMTs) for the victims who sustained critical injuries, according to users who documented the incident on the Citizen app, which is used by police and firefighters to inform the public. Emergency responders intervened but one of the two victims succumbed to her injuries at the scene.
In a SFPD press release, updated on January 2, 2021, the suspect was identified as 45-year-old Troy McAllister, of San Francisco on parole for robbery. The investigation also determined that McAllister committed burglary in the area prior to vehicle collision.
Officers located the McAllister nearby and, after a brief foot pursuit, were able to detain him. One individual filmed a video of the suspect shirtless while being handcuffed and forced into the police vehicle, and was confirmed detained at 5:33 p.m.
McAllister was arrested for: driving a stolen vehicle, possession of stolen property, running a red light, speeding, hit and run, manslaughter, burglary, resisting arrest, driving under the influence of drugs (DUI), DUI causing injury, possession of methamphetamines, possession of methamphetamines for sales, and possession of a large capacity firearm magazine.
San Francisco Chief of Police William Scott expressed solidarity to community members for those killed by McAllister’s reckless driving. “At the San Francisco Police Department, our hearts go out to the families of the victims in last evening’s fatal hit-and-run incident at Mission and Second Streets. This senseless tragedy shouldn’t have happened.”
Thanking the officers involved in McAllsiter’s arrest Scott tweeted, “I commend the work San Francisco police officers have done to arrest and hold this individual accountable for his criminal conduct, and for the heroic work our members do every day on hundreds of cases like it.”
Speaking of responsibility for crimes of such and defending the public from threats, Scott said: “I’m also proud to lead a department that is unflinching in embracing accountability. At the San Francisco Police Department, we take responsibility whenever we fall short of expectations. That’s an approach every element of our criminal justice system needs to embrace.”
CBS San Francisco reporter Brian Hackney did a live report outside the site of the crash on Mission and Second Street with candles and flowers. KCBS Radio reported on a GoFundMe campaign for the victims so that care for loved ones may be supported financially. There was a separate GoFundMe campaign established to hire investigative journalists to document misdeeds and lack of action by the San Francisco District Attorney, and it raised $44,034 as of 8:27 p.m. Thursday, January 7.
Twitter users blamed San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin, who has a reputation for failing to prosecute criminals, seeing him as responsible for the car crash by the paroled burglar that killed two people. Independent news outlets such as News Break, 48 Hills, California Globe, and Town Hall report cases including child abuse, domestic violence, first-degree burglary, assault, narcotics possession, and so on being dropped or never prosecuted under Boudin, sworn into office on January 8, 2020.
There are online campaigns, Twitter accounts, and websites dedicated to calling for community members to act to recall Chesa Boudin. The author of one similar campaign, known as “Chesa Must Resign,” Richie Greenburg, said that the call to recall Chesa was impractical, favoring resignation. “A recall is a much more complex, legal, official, voter-involved process.”
Greenburg said that Boudin’s one-year in office is characterized by a failure to prosecute criminals, attributing it to the rising burglaries, car thefts, homicides, and arsons.
“Mr. Boudin has been in office barely a year, and in his disastrous social experiment of criminal justice “reform” and the so-called restorative justice model, he has instead dismantled the criminal justice system,” Greenburg said. “This was not by accident. Mr. Boudin has actually planned to allow mayhem on San Francisco’s streets and in our homes. He schemes to vastly favor criminals over law-abiding citizens.”
“Chesa Must Resign” gained 8,594 signatures as of 2:05 p.m. Wednesday, January 6, 2020.
The Campaign to Recall Boudin, which is entirely separate, has a website and a Twitter documenting crime in the city, including videos of incidents such as car break-ins and sharing articles on violent crime in the city of San Francisco.
Tony Montoya, president of the city police union, Police Officers Association (POA), said officers believe Boudin has a penchant for dismissing charges and vastly reducing sentences that threatens public safety in an interview with the SF Chronicle. KPIX reported opposition to Boudin’s election to District Attorney. Boudin was quoted being motivated by a desire to end mass incarceration and discrimination in the criminal justice system against people of certain skin color.
“There’s just some people that cannot be rehabilitated,” Montoya said. He said McAlister had been given numerous chances to go straight before last year’s “sweetheart deal.”
On January 5, Boudin tweeted about his interactions with Abe’s mother, and shared about his commitment to meet with Ms. Platt’s family later in the week. “My office and our Victim Services team are committed to supporting both families,” he said on Twitter.
Don Bourque, a San Francisco resident commented on the photo writing, “We need to honor them by removing @chesaboudin from office.”
Jenny G. Shao expressed sorrow to the family members of Hana Abe, “Very sad to hear. Although the vigil may be post-posted or canceled, it sure shouldn’t pause any attempt to rename those streets after Hana & Elizabeth to preserve their memories.”
The District Attorney’s Office has been reviewing what the office and “criminal justice partners” including police officers, and parole members, could have done differently to prevent the double murder car crash. “We will continue to share updates as they are available,” reads the press release.
The “immediate change” the press release noted in District Attorney Policy was: a requirement that prosecutors must always communicate directly with parole when referring cases for violations or in making decisions about them.
During an interview on January 4 with KPIX 5, District Attorney Boudin said parole is for those convicted of “non-violent crime,” which were what McAllister had been charged for twice this year, in the months of November and December, before the car crash on New Years’ Eve.
“The reality is that none of McAllister’s police contacts [of the prior arrests] involved weapons or any kinds of violence,” Boudin said. “Anywhere in California you look right now if a parolee has a low-level or nonviolent contact, the default is to refer to parole. This is what happened with the initial arrests, and parole did their job of intervening and working with him to supervise him more closely.”
Joe Vasquez asked Boudin in an opening interview question concerning that no charges were filed for the suspect’s previous crimes, which consequently led to the car crash: “What happened here, because it appears that you had someone who was on parole, two more crimes were committed, no charges were filed, he ends up back on the street, and now two people are dead. I mean, you’re the top law enforcement official in San Francisco. Why did you allow this to happen?”
Boudin opened up with an expression of sympathy and stated first steps he planned to take in addressing the crime, a sentiment also expressed in a press release from the District Attorney’s Office.
“Joe, this is a terrible, terrible tragedy. The pain, heartache, and suffering is irreputable. We cannot undo the loss of those two precious lives. My victims services team has reached out to both families and I am meeting with Ms. Abe from Japan tomorrow. We look forward to doing whatever we can to support victims of both families. Mark my words, we will hold Mr. McAllister accountable for the harm he caused on New Years’ Eve.”
Journalist Vazquez asked about the finger pointing of who bears responsibility, with people mentioning the parole officer, police officers, and the District Attorney’s office. “According to the parole folks, they referred this case to your office. No charges were filed. They can’t just revoke someone’s parole, without you participating in that.”
Boudin said the fact that McAllister was paroled only to commit burglary and kill two people in a car crash, being a result of inaction on his end, was “not quite correct” and was “a little more complicated.”
Explaining other factors to consider, he mentioned the SFPD’s failure to follow protocols in notifying parole after every arrest of a parolee, something that was not done during McAllister’s prior arrest on December 20, 2020.
“That’s not quite correct, Joe. It’s a little more complicated, but you’re right that there are missed opportunities here, and you’re right that every single law enforcement agency involved in supervising Mr. McAllister or dealing with his arrest is taking a hard look at what happened and what might have happened. I can tell you that the normal procedure is for the San Francisco Police Department to notify parole after every single arrest of a parolee, and on December 20th, when Mr. McAllister was arrested, the San Francisco Police Department, in violation of General Order 6.12, failed to notify parole. Parole had been working with Mr. McAllister in the prior arrests. They had been taking important steps to intervene and supervise him, but they cannot do their job if the police does not notify them.”
Making a reference to the San Francisco Chronicle’s report that pointed out the Daily City Police Department’s awareness that McAllister stole the vehicle he drove in the crash, as well as the fact that he was armed, Boudin said there was inaction on the Daily City PD’s end.
“Now, the other thing we learned just tonight, that I believe the Chronicle broke this story, is that the Daly City Police Department was aware that McAllister had stolen the vehicle used in this fatal, tragic hit-and-run, and that he had a firearm. They were aware that he was on parole. They had his address and of his phone number as of December 29th, instead of taking steps to arrest him and get him off the streets to get the gun out of his possession and return the car to its rightful owner, they wrote in their report apparently that they were going to wait until January 3rd.”
Abe was an immigrant from Fukushima, who left after an earthquake and tsunami, went to college in the United States, and moved to San Francisco to work at a real estate company known as JLL Real Estate. McAllister will appear in court on January 20. He entered a “not guilty” plea on Tuesday, to felony vehicular manslaughter, driving under the influence of drugs, gun possession, and vehicular theft charges in connection with the fatal hit-and-run crash.