Murder charges have been filed against a suspect who allegedly assaulted an 84-year-old man, pushing the victim to the ground in the Anza Vista neighborhood on Thursday morning. The victim died in the hospital Saturday.
District Attorney Chesa Boudin said Tuesday that his office filed murder charges against 19-year-old Antoine Watson of Daly City, who police believe is the suspect captured in surveillance video pushing the victim, Vicha Ratanapakdee, to the ground. Boudin said police have given the DA’s office enough evidence to justify charges, adding:
“I have directed my staff to file those charges today and we expect he’ll be arraigned in open court tomorrow afternoon.”
The DA addressed rumors that Watson had been released, saying the suspect has remained in custody since Saturday’s arrest.
Maylasia Goo, 20, of Daly City was also arrested the same day for her alleged involvement in the attack on Ratanapakdee, Police Chief Bill Scott said.
Boudin said he has met with Ratanapakdee’s family and understands the concern among the Asian American and Pacific Islander community. The 84-year-old victim was native to Thailand. Boudin said:
“My entire office condemns violence against anyone, but particularly against the elderly and the vulnerable members of the AAPI community who have been unfairly targeted during this pandemic.”
City officials also provided an update related to a second attack last week against 76-year-old famed private detective Jack Palladino. Scott said Palladino was assaulted just outside his home at Page Street and Masonic Avenue late Thursday afternoon.
Scott said witnesses recalled seeing Palladino struggle with a suspect on the passenger side of the vehicle over Palladino’s “high-end investigative camera.” The suspect fled in the vehicle and Palladino fell to the ground. Boudin said Palladino was able to snap a picture of the assailant’s vehicle just before the attempted robbery and it’s expected the photo will be used as evidence in court.
He succumbed to his injuries Monday.
In the Palladino case, police arrested Lawrence Thomas, 24, of Pittsburgh and Tyjone Flournoy, 23, of San Francisco for their alleged involvement.
Boudin has filed attempted murder charges against both suspects, but he awaits a final medical examiner’s report that may justify murder charges.
During the press conference with Boudin and Scott, Mayor London Breed offered condolences to both victims’ families and stressed the heartbreaking nature of the attack on Ratanapakdee.
“The fact that another human being would do that to an elderly senior in our community is one of the most disgusting things I’ve ever seen.”
Vowing that people who commit crimes in The City will be held accountable, she said:
“Let’s dispel the myth right now that there are no consequences for committing crimes in San Francisco.”
“I believe in second chances. I believe that people are better than the worst things they have done. But when you cross that line, when you commit murder, when you take someone’s life like that, we as a city and as a society, we have to hold you accountable for your actions.”
Scott said despite arresting suspects in both incidents, the cases remain active and police welcome additional information that may provide further insight.