The driver of a white van made a series of poor decisions in the Castro on Sunday evening that led to a destructive journey through the neighborhood and extended into the Mission, according to eyewitnesses. The incident caused extensive vehicular damage and the driver was apprehended by police, though it appears that nobody was hurt.
The incident appears to have begun near Market and Noe in the Castro, as reported by tipster Jimmy P., who wrote in with the following account:
"I saw a crazy hit and run yesterday (Sunday) on Market and Noe at ~5.45pm. White van being driven by a skinny asian guy not wearing a shirt slammed into the Muni barrier on Market heading towards the city from Castro. He did major damage to his van including smashing his tyre down to the rim. He backed up, drove on driving on the metal of his wheel turning right onto Noe where he hit several cars stopped at the light because he couldn't steer properly. Before taking off again.
"Not sure if he was on drugs or really drunk. But he really didn't want to stick around after either crash. This is a very busy intersection with many onlookers from The Lookout and the intersection who would have seen this. Wondering if the cops got the guy and if there is any more info?"
Twitter user Damien Sorresso reported that the van, much the worse for wear, sped through a light at 16th and Church, headed towards the Mission:
Saw a white van with its front driver-side wheel falling off and on fire run a red light on on 16th at Church. Yeah that was 911-worthy.— Damien Sorresso (@launchz) March 16, 2015
Finally, Lance Navarro shared a public video on Facebook of the dramatic arrest, which appears to have taken place outside of Munroe Motors on Valencia and 15th:
We've reached out to SFPD for more information on the incident. In the meantime, did you see this case of vehicular mayhem unfold? Let us know in the comments if so.
Update, 3/23/15: According to a police spokesperson, "This person was arrested for DUI after collisions. SFPD responded and took the driver into custody." Police report that the suspect, identified as Hugo Torres, a 25-year-old Oakland resident, was booked for Misdemeanor DUI.
It appears a timely phone call by local resident Locoya Hill helped get 911 on the scene quickly. Here's his tale, shared with permission.
"Aaron James and I just saved San Francisco! There was some crazy person in a white van that hit a Muni stop, then swerved through traffic, hitting cars, losing a wheel, kept going, ran through lights and finally was stopped AT GUN POINT by multiple police cars... was I was on the phone giving 911 a play by play as we tailed him.... We were 2 cars behind when he hit a Muni stop but then he just kept going in front of us. Seeing all the cops pull out their guns signaled to me that we needed to go in the opposite direction at that point."
Never miss a story.
Subscribe today to get Hoodline delivered straight to your inbox.