San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin is being blamed by some for the deaths of two women killed in a hit-and-run on New Year’s Eve after it was revealed that the alleged driver was a parolee released from state prison in April and arrested several times since.
On Saturday night, the DA spoke with NBC Bay Area about the case as those who knew one of the victims paid tribute to her.
“All of us did what we could, took action to intervene and prevent the criminal conduct that so tragically cost two lives on New Year’s Eve,” Boudin said. “Obviously, what we did was not enough.”
Boudin is answering his critics just days after 27-year-old Hanako Abe was killed at 2nd and Mission streets, just blocks away from her SOMA home.
Another woman, yet to be identified, was also killed.
The man arrested was Troy McAlister, who was allegedly under the influence at the time of the crash, and according to police, he had just committed a burglary. Despite his several arrests since April, Boudin said he chose to refer McAlister’s cases to state parole agents.
“We’re all disappointed in the outcome,” Boudin said. “The outcome is horrific. We’re all taking a close look at what might have been done differently that could have possibly prevented this and what changes we can make moving forward… It’s certainly too late for the two women who died and their families.”
Abe’s boyfriend of a couple years, Jason Mayes, said he couldn’t believe 2020 could get any worse. But then he had to identify his girlfriend’s body because her family lives in Japan.
He described Abe as, “A first-class lady who saw the best in all of her friends and family even when times were hard. The world is not the same without her in it.”
In Mayes’s post, he wrote that Abe’s family is facing medical conditions and that she was helping them financially.
Now, her friends are trying to raise $60,000 so her family can come to the U.S. and bring her home to Japan.
Boudin said he hopes to announce a charging decision as soon as Monday. He said he will do whatever it takes to hold McAlister accountable.
Abe grew up in Fukushima and her family survived the devastating earthquake and tsunami there.