A parolee who allegedly struck and killed two women in the South of Market Thursday while driving a stolen vehicle under the influence has been arrested more than once this year but remained out of custody.
Troy McAllister, a 45-year-old San Francisco resident, was arrested Thursday after the collision at Second and Mission streets, which was reported just before 4 p.m.
Police said a gray Honda traveling on Second Street ran a red light at the intersection, striking a gray Ford and two women crossing in the crosswalk.
One of the women died at the scene, while the other died at the hospital a short time later.
The suspect driver fled the scene on foot and entered a building in the 100 block of Second Street, but a witness helped police locate and detain him.
Police said the Honda was reported stolen out of Daly City on Dec. 29. A search of the vehicle turned up a handgun with an extended magazine and suspected methamphetamine.
Investigators later found evidence linking McAllister to a burglary that had taken place at a restaurant on the 200 block of Ritch Street earlier Thursday afternoon.
McAllister was on parole at the time of the crash in connection with a prior conviction for robbery. He has been arrested multiple times this year while on parole, most recently on Dec. 20 on suspicion of possession of a stolen vehicle and burglary tools, but was not charged in those cases.
District Attorney Chesa Boudin said the previous arrests this year on nonviolent charges were referred by intake prosecutors to McAllister’s parole officer, who has the power to keep him in custody or quickly impose other sanctions without a court hearing or formal charges. McAllister was detained briefly on a parole hold in those prior cases but no request to charge him with a parole violation was filed by the parole officer.
In the most recent arrest, Boudin said there appeared to have been a “system failure.” The assigned prosecutor asked police to notify the parole officer after the Dec. 20 arrest, but no parole hold was placed.
When asked whether prosecutors should have considered filing criminal charges against McAllister after multiple arrests, Boudin said that his office would be looking at ways to make changes to avoid similar problems in the future.
“This is a terrible tragedy and when people lose their lives, we can’t undo that harm, and every law enforcement agency in San Francisco has to look hard at what we could have done differently,” Boudin said. “The answer probably is that we all could have done something different.”
While he could not specifically speak to each of McAllister’s recent arrests, police spokesman Officer Robert Rueca said notification of the parole agent when a parolee is arrested is “standard protocol” for the department.
A request for comment to the California Department of Correction and Rehabilitation was not immediately returned Friday.
McAllister has been booked into county jail on suspicion of charges including involuntary manslaughter, driving a stolen vehicle, possession of stolen property, running a red light, speeding, burglary, resisting arrest, driving under the influence and various drug and weapons charges.
Rueca said police expected to turn the case over to the District Attorney’s Office Friday.
This is a terrible tragedy and awful end to a brutal year. It is a system failure that resulted in irreversible harm to two families.
My heart goes out to the families of the victims.
We will hold the man who did this accountable.
We will support the families of the victims
— Chesa Boudin 博徹思 (@chesaboudin) January 1, 2021
UPDATE: Police Chief Bill Scott issued a statement on Saturday, Jan. 2, 2020: “At the San Francisco Police Department, our hearts go out to the families of the victims in Thursday evening’s fatal hit-and-run incident at Mission and Second streets. This senseless tragedy shouldn’t have happened,” said San Francisco Chief of Police William Scott. “I commend the work San Francisco police officers have done to arrest and hold this individual accountable for his criminal conduct, and for the heroic work our members do every day on hundreds of cases like it. I’m also proud to lead a departmentthat has been unflinching in embracing accountability. At the San Francisco Police Department, we take responsibility whenever we fall short of expectations. That’s anapproach every element of our criminal justice system needs to embrace.
“We must all be held equally accountable for the decisions we make, because they can have serious implications for the safety of those we serve. San Franciscans deserve nothing less, and that’s what they’re demanding from all of us in the criminal justice system,” Scott said.