Bail was set at $1 million for a man suspected of fatally striking a pedestrian in San Francisco on Saturday morning and then driving away from the scene.
Juan Martinez, 23, of San Francisco, appeared in court Thursday afternoon to answer charges of felony vehicular manslaughter, felony hit-and-run, driving with a suspended license, and driving while using a cellphone, district attorney’s office spokesman Omid Talai said.
Prosecutors and defense attorneys argued over whether the steep $1 million bail was appropriate for Martinez’s alleged crime, with prosecutors arguing that whether Martinez would go free was a public safety issue.
Prosecutors said that Martinez admitted to San Francisco police that he had 13 or 14 beers before driving the day of the collision, leading the judge to grant the high bail.
“The defendant’s conduct on Christmas Eve was the very definition of what constitutes a public safety risk to San Franciscans,” Talai said.
Martinez did not enter a plea during Thursday’s appearance, and is scheduled to appear in court again Friday at 9 a.m.
Martinez was arrested after he allegedly fled the scene of the collision, which occurred under U.S. Highway 101 near the intersection of Potrero Avenue and Cesar Chavez Street at 8:30 a.m. Saturday, police Sgt. Daryl Fong said.
The male victim, whose name has not yet been released, was found by officers on a traffic island under the highway.
Investigators believe Martinez’s vehicle traveled onto the island and struck the victim, according to Fong.
Police arrested Martinez at about 3 p.m. Saturday.
Scott Morris/Dan McMenamin, Bay City News