Friday San Francisco News Roundup
Woman Suspected Of Jumping Off Bay Bridge To Evade CHP Identified As Richmond Resident
A woman who allegedly evaded arrest Wednesday after crashing a stolen car on the Bay Bridge by jumping into the water has been identified as Richmond resident Erlynn Kay Sanchez-Edwards, the California Highway Patrol said today.
Sanchez-Edwards, 25, is believed to have been the driver in a solo vehicle crash on the eastern span of the Bay Bridge early Wednesday, according to the CHP.
The crash was spotted by CHP officers driving west on the Bay Bridge’s eastern span at about 2 a.m., CHP Officer Vu Williams said. They saw a 2014 Nissan Maxima spinning out in the eastbound lanes and turned around at Treasure Island to investigate.
Once they got there, the officers found the vehicle abandoned and saw three women standing on the bridge. The women had apparently gotten out of the car and climbed over the railing to the bridge’s bicycle and pedestrian walkway.
As the CHP officers approached, one of the women, who has since been identified as Sanchez-Edwards, climbed over the second rail on the edge of the bridge and then either jumped or fell into the water, Williams said.
Officers saw her floating until she went under the bridge and they lost sight of her. They used a dye pack to determine the direction of the current and started searching the water for her.
While officers recovered her identification card, they otherwise found no sign of her. Some witnesses reported seeing her get out of the water and being picked up at the toll plaza by a dump truck, Williams said.
Investigators later determined the Nissan had been reported stolen out of Los Angeles. The women she was with did not know her well and were questioned and released, Williams said.
Later in the day, a dump truck driver told the CHP he had picked up the soaking-wet woman. His description of the woman matched the CHP officers’.
He drove her to San Francisco, where she was last seen in the area of Fremont and Folsom streets, the CHP said Thursday.
She is wanted for questioning for vehicle theft, hit and run and resisting arrest, the CHP said.
Police Release Images, Surveillance Footage Of Suspects In Robbery Of News Photographer
San Francisco police are asking the public for help in finding two suspects who robbed a newspaper photographer of his camera last month.
The photographer was walking east on Bryant Street around 11 a.m. on July 23 with a second person near Langton Street when two unidentified suspects pushed him from behind, police said.
As he fell, suspects grabbed on to his camera, a Canon EOS-1D digital camera. The photographer struggled with the suspects and they dragged around 20 feet down Langton before making away with the camera.
The camera and lenses together are worth more than $9,300, police said.
The suspects fled south on Langton and a surveillance camera captured footage of them driving away in a black Pontiac Grand Prix. The video also appears to show a possible “Good Samaritan” chasing the suspect in a Toyota Tacoma pickup or a similar vehicle.
Police have released photos and video footage and are asking the public to help identify the Good Samaritan in the pickup truck or the suspects.
Independent Physicians Association Sues Chinese Community Health Plan, Alleges Fraudulent Business Practices
An independent physicians association representing almost 200 doctors who serve San Francisco’s Chinese Hospital and Chinatown health clinics on Thursday announced it has filed a lawsuit against the Chinese Community Health Plan claiming that its management conducted fraudulent business practices to gain economic advantage.
The physicians association, the Chinese Community Health Care Association, is a non-profit medical group that for decades has worked with the Chinese Hospital and Chinese Community Health Plan with the common goal of bringing low-cost health care to San Francisco’s Chinese community.
In 1982, Chinese Hospital created Chinese Community Health Plan as a means of offering affordable health insurance to its patient population.
Dr. Mai-Sie Chan, a community internist and secretary of the physicians association, said Thursday that in early July it surfaced that the health plan was trying to form direct contracts with some of the physicians who are represented by the association.
The association states that physicians were misled by the health plan into believing they needed to simply renew an existing agreement, but were actually given a completely new offer that would have legally bound the physicians directly to the health plan.
Physicians who agreed to enter a direct contract with the health plan would no longer be independent.
The lawsuit alleges that Chinese Community Health Plan was carrying out a “calculated and well-planned scheme” to eventually put the association out of business.
Chan said that she is concerned that without the association “physicians would have less of a united voice” and potentially be unable to provide the same high quality care to their patients.
Two physicians in the association, who work at the Chinese Hospital, have already signed direct contracts with the health plan, Chan said.
The physicians association has not only filed a lawsuit in San Francisco Superior Court against the health plan claiming a breach of contract and fraudulent business practices, but also issued a formal complaint about the health plan to state regulators, according to a statement released by Chinese Community Health Plan.
Brenda Yee, chief executive officer of both the nonprofit Chinese Hospital and the for-profit Chinese Community Health Plan, downplayed the allegations made by the association in a statement released Thursday, saying that doctors, not the association have the right to contract with whichever medical group or health plan they choose.
Chinese Community Health Plan maintains that it sent certain qualified providers the contracts in order to comply with regulatory requirements imposed upon it by Covered California, Medicare Advantage and accreditation programs.
The lawsuit comes less than a year before Chinese Hospital and Chinese Community Health Plan plans to move into a new, $160 million Chinatown facility.
The expanded hospital aims to accommodate an increased number of patients who are expected to enter the health care system as a result of the Affordable Care Act and Covered California.
Weather Forecast For The San Francisco Bay Area
Today will be partly cloudy in the morning before becoming sunny. There will be a possibility patch fog in the morning. Highs will be in the 60s to mid-70s and west winds will reach 10 to 20 miles per hour.
Tonight, skies will be mostly clear. Lows will be in the upper 50s and west winds will reach 5 to 15 miles per hour.
Saturday will be sunny. Highs will be in the mid-60s to upper 70s and west winds will reach 5 to 15 miles per hour.