A 19-year-old whose reckless driving was implicated in the death of a 28-year-old Oakland man and injuries to his family members has been charged with felony vehicular manslaughter.
As KTVU reports, earlier this month, 19-year-old Arnold Azeael Linaldi was charged by the Alameda County District Attorney's Office for the June 26th death of Lolomanaia "Lolo" Soakai — an innocent bystander who had just finished a late-night burrito with his mother and cousins who were injured as well. The group was standing near a taco truck saying their goodbyes around 2 a.m. that morning when Linaldi's car came racing down International Boulevard.
Prosecutors say that Linaldi was driving in a "grossly negligent manner," reportedly over 100 miles per hour, and his Nissan 350Z ultimately crashed into a row of parked cars, one of which killed Soakai near the intersection of 54th Avenue.
Complicating the DA's case will likely be a report that came out days later in which two police sources spoke anonymously with KTVU and revealed that two rookie officers had initiated a chase with Linaldi after identifying his vehicle as being part of a sideshow some distance away from the crash scene. This was a rogue chase, not sanctioned by the Oakland Police Department because of the potential dangers to the public, and there is apparently evidence to suggest the officers left the crash scene without calling for medical aid before returning to the scene shortly thereafter.
These revelations led to the two officers involved being placed on administrative leave where, as KTVU reports, they remain today.
OPD Chief LaRonne Armstrong issued a statement in June saying the situation was being investigated, and that he wanted to "make sure our officers are following policy, following laws and if they were in compliance with department’s expectations... [including] speed and permission to be involved."
Soakai was employed as a supervisor for Envoy Air, a regional carrier that is a subsidiary of American Airlines.
As KTVU also reported following his death, Soakai was part of a tight-knit community of Tongans in the East Bay, and he had aunts and other family who flew out for his funeral service in July.