The man who allegedly fled after he fatally ran over a San Francisco cyclist with a stolen car in Golden Gate Park will indeed face murder charges, District Attorney George Gascon announced Tuesday.
As previously reported, on June 22 19-year-old San Francisco resident Nicky Garcia allegedly crossed into the opposing lane of traffic on John F. Kennedy Drive and 30th Avenue and struck 41-year-old Heather Miller as she pedaled east.
Garcia, who police say was driving a Honda Fit that had been reported as stolen, then allegedly abandoned the car and fled on foot. Three weeks later, Garcia was arrested and booked into San Francisco County Jail on a slew of allegations. SFist commenters swiftly entered into speculation on what charges Garcia might actually face in court, with some arguing that prosecutors might be reluctant to pursue a murder rap as Miller's slaying was not intentional, and that "there may not be enough evidence to prove the intent necessary to charge him with murder."
It appears, however, that the DA's office feels that there's plenty of evidence to pursue charges of murder in the case, as spokesperson Max Szabo confirms that Garcia was arraigned Tuesday, and will be prosecuted on charges of murder, vehicular manslaughter, hit-and-run and auto burglary. According to a spokesperson with the San Francisco Sheriff's Department, as of Wednesday afternoon, Garcia remains in custody.
Meanwhile, the suspect in another cyclist death that happened just hours after Miller's has since been released from jail. 32-year-old San Franciscan Farrukh Mushtaq was arrested after allegedly striking 26-year-old cyclist Katherine Slattery at 8:24 on June 22.
Slattery was killed after Mushtaq allegedly ran a red light as he traveled west on Howard Street at 7th Street, then "continued westbound to the area of Howard and 9th Street where he stopped and exited his car," police said at the time of the collision. His unoccupied vehicle rolled forward and struck a parked car, as a witness spoke with Mushtaq until police arrived and took him into custody.
Mushtaq, who police say was not impaired by drugs or alcohol at the time of the collision, was booked into San Francisco County Jail on the charges of felony hit-and-run and vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence. According to a spokesperson with the San Francisco Sheriff's Department, he is currently out of custody after posting bail.