Tuesday News Roundup
POLICE RELEASE PHOTOS OF VAN INVOLVED IN FATAL HIT-AND-RUN NEAR CHINATOWN
San Francisco police are asking the public for help in locating a van involved in a fatal hit-and-run collision that occurred Friday near Chinatown.
The collision occurred around 5:50 a.m. at Powell Street and Broadway, where police responded to a report of a person lying in the road.
The victim, identified by the San Francisco medical examiner’s office as 62-year-old Sun Choi Law, died at the scene.
The suspect vehicle, which police described as a white van with no windows, possibly a 1997-2002 Ford Econoline, was traveling south on Powell and turning right onto Broadway at the time of the collision.
It was last seen driving west on Broadway toward Mason Street, according to police.
Police today released still photos of the van taken from surveillance cameras in the area and are asking anyone with information to call (415) 575-4444 or to text a tip to TIP411 with “SFPD” at the start of the message.
Law’s death was the first of two such fatal hit-and-run collisions in less than 48 hours in San Francisco.
At 6:46 p.m. Saturday, a silver Dodge minivan struck and killed 56-year-old Michael Gilmore as he crossed south on Leavenworth Street at Ellis Street in the Tenderloin.
A 34-year-old man walking behind Gilmore was also struck and injured.
The minivan in that incident was last seen heading west on Ellis Street.
Law’s family has started a GoFundMe page to help cover costs for a memorial at https://www.gofundme.com/sunchoimemorial.
APPEALS COURT DISMISSES JAYCEE DUGARD LAWSUIT ALLEGING FEDERAL PAROLE FAILURE
A divided U.S. appeals court today dismissed a lawsuit filed by kidnapping victim Jaycee Dugard against the federal government for failing to supervise her captor when he was on parole from another kidnapping in the years before she was abducted.
A three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said by a 2-1 vote that Dugard could not sue over the alleged failure to supervise Phillip Garrido in the three years before she was kidnapped in 1991 because she was not a “specifically identifiable victim” at the time.
Dugard’s lawsuit claimed that if federal parole officials had supervised Garrido properly, they would have revoked his parole and sent him back to prison for numerous instances of drug use and other violations, thus making him unable to kidnap her.
Dugard, now 35, was kidnapped at age 11 by Phillip and Nancy Garrido on the morning of June 10, 1991, as she walked to a school bus stop outside her home in South Lake Tahoe.
She was kept captive in sheds and tents in the backyard of their house near Antioch for 18 years, was repeatedly raped by Phillip Garrido and gave birth to two daughters when she was 14 and 17.
Dugard and her daughters were discovered and freed in 2009 after Garrido raised suspicions when he brought the two girls with him to the University of California at Berkeley campus to seek an event permit.
Both Garridos pleaded guilty in El Dorado County Superior Court in 2011 to charges of kidnapping and rape. Phillip Garrido was sentenced to 431 years in prison and Nancy Garrido to 36 years to life.
Garrido was on federal parole from 1988 to 1999 after being released early from a 50-year prison sentence for the 1976 kidnapping and rape of a South Lake Tahoe woman. In 1999, the parole supervision responsibility was transferred to the state of California.
Dugard filed the lawsuit against the federal government in U.S. District Court in San Francisco in 2011. The appeals court majority today upheld a lower court decision that dismissed the case in 2013.
Circuit Judges Richard Clifton and John Owens said in a brief ruling that parole officials can be sued for failing to carry out their duties only by people who were identifiable victims at the time of the alleged failure.
Judge William Smith, a federal district judge from Rhode Island temporarily assigned to the appeals court, said in a 29-page dissent that parole officials’ duty should extend to victims who are foreseeable, even if not specifically identifiable.
Establishing such a legal duty would promote “greater care, vigilance, and concern for the safety of foreseeable victims,” Smith wrote.
Dugard could appeal for further review by an 11-judge panel of the circuit court. Jonathan Steinsapir, a lawyer for Dugard, said he could not comment on the ruling or on whether a further appeal is planned.
Separately, Dugard received a $20 million settlement from the state of California in 2010 for failures in the state parole supervision between 1999 and 2009.
In 2011, Dugard published a memoir of her abduction and captivity entitled “A Stolen Life.” Her second book, “My Book of Firsts,” describing her experiences after captivity, is due to be published in July.