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Curb-jumping driver charged with felonies

A 70-year-old driver has been charged with seven counts of assault with a deadly weapon, vandalism, reckless driving and driving under the influence after his van jumped the curb on Saturday and sent people scattering in San Francisco’s Castro District, prosecutors said Tuesday.

Kenneth Rotter was initially booked on charges including attempted murder after his arrest on Saturday, which occurred after police received several calls around 3:12 p.m. reporting a person driving on the sidewalk.

Police said he drove his purple Dodge van on to the sidewalk in the 400 block of Castro Street, hitting parking meters and trees. He then allegedly stopped and backed into a deli before driving off the sidewalk and south down 18th Street.

He drove around the block, running some stop signs and sometimes driving on the wrong side of the street before he was stopped driving west on 18th Street toward Castro Street, according to police.

No pedestrians were hit or injured and no other vehicles were damaged in the incident.

Rotter told officers he was having brake problems. Police impounded the van and said they would have it inspected for mechanical defects.

Rotter is being held without bail and remains in custody. He’s scheduled to be arraigned Wednesday afternoon.


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