SF District Attorney

DA Chesa Boudin Announces Homicide Charges Against Troy Mcalister, for Driving Under the Influence and Crashing a Stolen Car into Two Pedestrians, Killing Them

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CONTACTS:

Rachel Marshall / (415) 416-4468 / Rachel.Marshall@sfgov.org

SAN FRANCISCO – Today, San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin announced the filing of multiple felony charges against Troy McAlister, who was arrested by San Francisco Police on December 31, 2020 for driving under the influence, running a red light, and killing two female pedestrians while driving a stolen car.  The District Attorney’s Office has charged Mr. McAlister with two counts of vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated (Penal Code Section 191.5(a)), as well as multiple enhancements related to a prior strike conviction.  He is also being charged with felony possession of a firearm (Penal Code Section 29900); felony driving under the influence causing great bodily injury (Vehicle Code Section 23153(g)); felony leaving the scene of a collision (Vehicle Code Section 20001(a)); felony driving a stolen vehicle (Vehicle Code Section 10851); felony transportation of a controlled substance (Health and Safety Code Section 11379(a)); felony burglary (Penal Code Section 459); felony vandalism (Penal Code Section 594(a)); and misdemeanor receiving stolen property (Penal Code Section 496(a)).

The victims in this case were 60 year-old Elizabeth Platt and 27 year-old Hanako Abe, who were walking in a crosswalk when, it is alleged, Mr. McAlister fatally struck them with the stolen car while driving under the influence.  Mr. McAllister is believed to have stolen the car two days earlier in Daly City while armed with a firearm with a high-capacity extended magazine. 

“My entire office is distraught over this, and our hearts break for the families of Ms. Abe and Ms. Platt,” said District Attorney Boudin.  “Let me speak directly to those families: I am so sorry for your loss.  The pain you are suffering is unthinkable.  This is a true tragedy. We will hold Mr. McAlister accountable.

“This horrific tragedy is an example of many different agencies each failing to intervene effectively,” District Attorney Boudin continued. “Although of course no one predicted this tragedy, it is true that the Daly City Police, the San Francisco Police, Parole, and my office all could have done things differently, which might have avoided this terrible outcome. I have to start with what we could have done differently in house and we are carefully reviewing what happened and how the District Attorney’s Office can work to prevent tragedies like this from occurring in the future. I am implementing concrete changes to our longstanding practices regarding referrals to other agencies.  We are committed to working with our law enforcement partners—including police agencies and parole—to make systematic changes effective immediately.”

The District Attorney’s Office’s Victim Services Division has contacted the families of both victims.  District Attorney Boudin is scheduled to meet with members of Ms. Abe’s family later today and is scheduled to meet with members of Ms. Platt’s family later this week. 

The December 31 Tragedy

Police report that on December 31, 2020, Mr. McAlister, who was on parole, was recklessly driving a car stolen two days earlier in Daly City, when he ran a red light and hit Ms. Abe and Ms. Platt, killing them both.  Mr. McAlister was believed to be under the influence of alcohol and methamphetamine at the time he committed the hit and run.  He is also alleged to have committed a burglary earlier that day.

Following the crash, Mr. McAlister was observed by witnesses fleeing from the scene of the collision. Inside the abandoned stolen car was a semiautomatic handgun with an extended high-capacity magazine and 23 grams gross weight of methamphetamine.  Both the stolen car and the gun are believed to be related to an incident just two days prior; on December 29, the owner of the stolen car identified Mr. McAlister to Daly City Police Department. 

The District Attorney’s Commitment to Accountability

The District Attorney’s Office has been carefully reviewing what the office and our criminal justice partners could have done differently to prevent this tragedy.  We will continue to share updates as they are available.  It is clear that law enforcement agencies must do a better job communicating with one another. 

The District Attorney’s Office has reached out to other agencies to conduct a comprehensive review of what happened leading up to this tragedy and collaborate on new procedures and practices going forward. 

District Attorney Boudin is also implementing an immediate change to District Attorney office policy: a requirement that prosecutors must always communicate directly with parole when referring cases for violations or in making decisions about them.  Although SFPD officers are required to—and typically do— contact parole in every arrest of a parolee per SFPD General Order 6.12, this policy will provide an additional check on that system to ensure that parole is updated.

As District Attorney Boudin explained, “We are focused on three things as we move forward: holding Mr. McAlister accountable for the harm he caused; supporting the victims’ families; and working internally in our own office and along with our justice partners to make changes to prevent this kind of tragedy.”