SF Hotel Owner Ducks Reporters Following Vehicular Manslaughter Hearing

A San Francisco hotel owner accused of hitting and killing a pedestrian with his car in the city’s Crocker-Amazon neighborhood on New Year’s Eve made his initial court appearance today to face a misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter charge.

Giampaolo Boschetti, 69, did not enter a plea during his hearing in San Francisco Superior Court this morning and declined to speak to reporters outside of court.

Boschetti was arrested after he struck 86-year-old Zhen Guang Ng at Naples and Rolph streets at about 3:30 p.m. on Dec. 31, police said.

He was booked into jail on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter and failure to stop at a stop sign and posted bail the next day.

Judge Samuel Feng today ordered Boschetti not to drive while the case is ongoing, and scheduled the next hearing for Jan. 14.

Boschetti is the owner of Aida Plaza Hotel at 1087 Market St., an employee at the hotel said last week.

Ng’s death was the first of two involving pedestrians on New Year’s Eve in San Francisco.

Sofia Liu, a 6-year-old girl, was struck as she walked with her mother and brother in a crosswalk at Polk and Ellis streets at about 8 p.m., police said. She was taken to a hospital, where she later died.

In that case, Syed Muzzafar, a 57-year-old Union City resident, was arrested on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter and failure to yield to pedestrians in a crosswalk.

Muzzafar also posted bail on New Year’s Day and remains out of custody. Prosecutors have not yet filed charges against him, district attorney’s office spokesman Alex Bastian said.

Muzzafar was an independent contractor for Uber, a San Francisco-based transportation network company that matches passengers to private cars via a smartphone app.

Uber officials said Muzzafar did not have a passenger in his car at the time of the collision and that his account with the company has since been deactivated.

Dan McMenamin, Bay City News

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