Posted by justa nother mom, a resident of the Greenmeadow neighborhood, on Jan 29, 2013 at 10:30 am
I'll bet the driver was white. When my African-American son struck a fire hydrant in a rainstorm, came home and immediately called PAPD, met the police in our home, agreed to and then did pay for the damage, he was STILL cited for hit and run and had to do jail time. We protested all the way to the DA level. The former police chief, who resigned amidst allegations of racism, with the cooperation of the DA, dismissed the charge, and our current police chief reinstated it which we didn't even know until we received the warrant for his arrest in the mail! To me, hitting PEOPLE and running ought to earn at least what hitting a THING does.
Posted by Just what?, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Jan 29, 2013 at 10:34 am
@justa nother mom:
The police are people too and they bring their racial stereotyping to the job along with their brains. It sucks but it's true. Good to see you speaking out about it though. Every little bit of awareness helps. Some years ago, it would have been unthinkable to have a (half-)black president, much less one whose middle name is Hussein. So we're making progress, albeit not fast enough.
Posted by Curious, a resident of the Crescent Park neighborhood, on Jan 29, 2013 at 10:44 am
Did the police check for impairment? ie alcohol or other drugs? Seems like this should be part of the story. Is the reason she got off on a misdemeanor because there were no injuries? Is that the deciding factor? I don't see how you can hit 3 things and not notice it unless you have some kind of problem
Posted by Barron Parker, a resident of the Barron Park neighborhood, on Jan 29, 2013 at 11:18 am
I have to agree with Curious and others: hitting a bicyclist and 2 cars and driving away does not sound like *misdemeanor* hit and run. And why was her name not released? Is someone being protected here?
Posted by Local resident, a resident of the Evergreen Park neighborhood, on Jan 29, 2013 at 11:23 am
It is only a misdemeanor if there is only property damage. If the cyclist or any other party was physically hurt it would be felony Hit an Run.
Jail time for hitting an inanimate object seems excessive in the case of the fire hydrant. Jail time of up to 6 months is possible for misdemeanor H&R but I'll bet it rarely gets enforced. Hopefully the person involved in this incident might learn some respect for others with a little change in perspective (jail time).
Posted by KP, a resident of the South of Midtown neighborhood, on Jan 29, 2013 at 11:23 am
@ Oh hell no, a resident of the Barron Park neighborhood,
I hope your sarcasm is directed mainly to the lawyers, because if you think she shouldn't be sued or at least pay for more than a damn ticket- you're freakin crazy!
If she WASN'T impaired by alcohol or drugs, then she CAN"T DRIVE and maybe she only needs a damn bus pass!!! Have you thought of that?! Especially when you read about the boy who hit a stupid hydrant and was given jail time!?! REALLY?
Posted by justa nother mom, a resident of the Greenmeadow neighborhood, on Jan 29, 2013 at 11:25 am
Thanks for the support against profiling. Such support truly matters.
In my experience, the driver would have been tested and named in the story, if African-American. If 18 or 19 and male, he would have been called a man. If white, he would have been released without testing and called a teenager.
Yes, profiling sucks, and keeps on sucking - life out of the community. It leads to a mutual distrust between tax-paying citizens and those we fund for our protection, a reluctance to report anything, a distrust of what is reported, and on and on.
Posted by Cellie, a resident of the Meadow Park neighborhood, on Jan 29, 2013 at 11:38 am
I'd like it if cell phone usage checks became as common as road side sobriety checks when situations like this happen. I'm sure the cop did some sort of sobriety check. It'd be great if there was some way to immediately check usage of her cell phone.
Posted by Downtowner, a resident of Menlo Park, on Jan 29, 2013 at 11:41 am
This is heinous! What is the $ amount of property damage defining misdemeanor vs. felony Hit & Run? The aggregate cost of repairing damage to a bicycle & 2 cars might exceed that. Something is very fish-y here.
Yes, profiling is terrible. Poor fire hydrant. Damaged perhaps, inconvenienced, frightened, & unable to speak its distress.
Posted by Historical Perspective, a member of the Palo Alto High School community, on Jan 29, 2013 at 1:16 pm
I am reminded of a situation a few years ago when an 18 year old Paly student did something similar and unfortunately the cyclist died and the other cyclist was seriously hurt. She was eventually jailed as a result of her hit and run.
The only difference between these two stories as far as I can see is that the police only take action if there is a death.
Posted by Ladeedee, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Jan 29, 2013 at 2:49 pm
I used to work on the Stanford campus. One day, my son, who was in middle school, came to check in with me after school. On the way home, a driver ran a red light on Campus Dr and hit him, then took off after driving around his prostrate form and damaged bike! Fortunately, he had only minor injuries.
I think this happens more than the public knows about. I have had a few Stanford students tell me they have had accidents of a minor nature on Campus Dr over the years, and the Stanford police have not been very helpful.
Posted by anonymous, a resident of the Duveneck/St. Francis neighborhood, on Jan 29, 2013 at 3:13 pm
Fair treatment under the law is important. I also wonder why the young lady's name was withheld (the driver) - she did several things affecting others and fled the scenes. That sounds serious to me, though I understand the police and DA have to decide according to the law.
I am always curious when some who commit public acts leading to arrest (and perhaps charges) are named and others are not.
Reminds me of the real tragedy a few years ago when the lady in wheelchair was struck and killed by an SUV-drivng Palo Alto mommie, whose name was withheld, even though the lady in the wheelchair was legally crossing a sidestreet off of Embarcadero as she had done many times before (in contrast to the recent jaywalking death...)
Posted by daniel, a resident of the Embarcadero Oaks/Leland neighborhood, on Jan 30, 2013 at 8:04 am
How is this not a serious felony? I agree with the poster who theorized that the driver must have been white. I was once hit by a hit and run driver while riding my bicycle on the Stanford campus. Fortunately I suffered only light injuries. The driver was chased down by an off duty cop and arrested, but the case never went to trial. What's to deter such drivers from doing it again?