The suspect in the New Year's Eve hit-and-run collision in SF's SoMa neighborhood that left two women dead had allegedly stolen the car used in the incident two days earlier from a woman he met on a dating app.
45-year-old Troy Ramon McAlister is sounding classier by the minute as we learn from the Chronicle today that he was on a second date with a woman at a Daly City fast-food restaurant when he allegedly took off with her car on December 29, flipping her the bird as he drove off. The woman told Daly City police officers that McAlister snatched her keys while the two were waiting for food at Nation's Giant Hamburgers, and drove off in her gray 2017 Honda HR-V. She also provided his name and address to officers, and said he had shown her a 9mm pistol with an extended magazine.
Daly City police filed a report on the car theft on the 29th, noting that they would be following up on January 3. But it's not clear that any effort was ever made to locate or apprehend McAlister, who was clearly in violation of his parole in addition to allegedly stealing a car.
While ire has been growing over the case with some of it directed at District Attorney Chesa Boudin — McAlister was freed from jail in April under a plea deal with Boudin's office after serving five years for armed robbery, and has been arrested and let go several times for multiple alleged crimes in the months since then — anger is likely to now shift in the direction of the Daly City officers who could have potentially locked McAlister up two days before the fatal accident in SoMa.
A neighbor who witnessed the New Year's Eve crash, Raymond Ng, tells KTVU that there were two men in the car at the time of the crash, and a man in the passenger's seat ran off quickly after the women were hit. McAlister apparently had some difficulty getting out of the car after its airbags deployed, Ng said, but then he ran off as well and was chased down by bystanders into a nearby building.
The two women killed in the crash were identified over the weekend as 27-year-old Hanako Abe of San Francisco, and 60-year-old Elizabeth Platt.
Abe's mother, Hiroko Abe, who lives in Japan, spoke to ABC 7 through a translator on Sunday, saying that feeling anger toward McAlister was useless. "Even if she hates him, this won't bring her back," the translator said. "Also, Hana always wished for everyone to be happy and if it was her, she would like this person who did this to become happy as well and live a happy life."
A small memorial has been growing near the site of the accident on Second Street, and Abe's family encourages more people to leave flowers there, because Abe's name translates as "flower child." Abe's parents are reportedly going to travel to San Francisco to bring Abe's remains back with them to Japan.
Update: Boudin has issued a statement regarding McAlister saying, "There are missed opportunities here, and you’re right that every single law enforcement agency involved in supervising Mr. McAllister or dealing with his arrests is taking a hard look at what happened and what might have happened."
Photo: Twitter via KTVU