San Francisco

Family of 84-Year-Old Man Killed in San Francisco Upset With District Attorney

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A potentially poor choice of words following a heinous killing led to a protest of San Francisco's district attorney on Thursday.

The family of Vicha Ratanapakdee, an 84-year-old Thai man who was killed while walking outside his San Francisco home in January, said the district attorney's comments in a recent interview show he's trying to protect the killer.

Monthanus Ratanapakdee, Vicha's daughter, saw the accused – 19-year-old Antoine Watson – before a pre-trial hearing at San Francisco's Hall of Justice on Thursday.

"I want to ask him, 'Why did you do that to my father?'" Monthanus said.

Monthanus and her husband Eric Lawson also have questions for District Attorney Chesa Boudin, who was quoted in a recent New York Times article calling Watson's actions before Vicha's death "some sort of temper tantrum."

"On a personal level, I believe his sympathies are with us, but as far as his policies and whether or not his policies led to our dad’s death, we don’t know," Lawson said.

Boudin's office said the district attorney's words were taken out of context and said he was describing Watson's conduct before the killing and did "not in any way excuse Mr. Watson's behavior – that's why he charged this case as a murder."

For Vicha's family, using those words in any context is disheartening.

"I’m disappointed when the DA said it’s a tantrum," Monthanus said. "He’s a killer. He’s not a victim. My father is a victim. It hurt my feelings."

Watson, who has pled not guilty, is expected back in court on March 22.

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