Three teenagers who allegedly struck and killed a pedestrian in April while fleeing from police during a multi-day crime spree are being charged with murder and other felonies, prosecutors said today.
The three suspects, Robert Pelesauma, 19, Hunter Sagaiga, 19, and Faavesi Koka, 18, all San Francisco residents, appeared in court together today in orange jail clothing and handcuffs just long enough for San Francisco Superior Court Judge Daniel Flores to set their bail at $5 million a piece.
Pelesauma appeared in court today with dyed blonde hair, while both Sagaiga and Koka appeared with large Afros.
According to Alex Bastian, a spokesman with the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office, the teens face murder charges, as well as numerous counts of assault, assault with a firearm, assault with a deadly weapon, namely a bb gun, and robbery.
Pelesauma is also charged with evading police and possession of a stolen vehicle, according to Bastian.
San Francisco police Officer Grace Gatpandan said the three suspects are believed to have conducted robberies armed with handguns throughout the city in the days before the fatal hit-and-run collision on April 10, and carried out at least three armed robberies just on the night of the fatal hit-and-run alone.
Gatpandan said that the fatal hit-and-run occurred around 10 p.m. on April 10, just after the suspects allegedly committed their final robbery of the night at Clay and Larkin streets in the city’s Nob Hill neighborhood.
An officer on patrol spotted the suspect car, described as a stolen newer-model black Toyota Corolla, blocks away heading north on Leavenworth Street at Pine Street, Gatpandan said.
The officer attempted to make a high-risk felony stop on the vehicle with the assistance of other police units at California and Mason streets, but the suspect vehicle failed to yield and a pursuit ensued, Gatpandan said.
About four blocks east, the car fatally struck 42-year-old Bridget Klecker at California and Kearny streets in the Financial District, according to Gatpandan.
While some of the officers stopped to aid the victim, other units continued to follow the suspect car, Gatpandan said.
Klecker was transported to San Francisco General Hospital where she was pronounced dead, according to the medical examiner’s office.
She was a long-time San Francisco resident who worked as a manager at a cafe on the Google campus in Mountain View, according to her LinkedIn profile.
The suspects did not stop after hitting Klecker and continued to flee in the stolen car, hitting another pedestrian at Post and Powell streets near Union Square.
That pedestrian did not suffer life-threatening injuries but was transported to San Francisco General Hospital, police said.
Officers then saw the Corolla hit a vehicle in the area of Eighth and Harrison streets in the South of Market neighborhood. but officers lost sight of the suspect car, Gatpandan said.
No injuries were reported in the third collision, she said.
Police recovered two firearms at Stockton and California streets that they believe were thrown from the Corolla, Gatpandan said.
Officers later conducted an area check on Treasure Island, where they found the stolen Corolla unoccupied, according to Gatpandan.
The teenage suspects were taken into custody Wednesday after the San Francisco Police Department’s homicide detail served several search warrants in San Francisco, Hayward and Santa Rosa, police said.
The three suspects are expected to return to court on Wednesday at 9 a.m.
Hannah Albarazi, Bay City News