Following brutal attacks that left two elderly men dead last week, San Francisco officials on Tuesday sought to dispel perceptions that the city is soft on crime under the administration of a progressive, reform-minded district attorney, reports the Courthouse News Service. On Jan. 28, 84-year-old Vicha Ratanapakdee and legendary private detective Jack Palladino, 76, were fatally injured in seemingly unprovoked attacks. Ratanapakdee’s family believed the attack was racially motivated and officers arrested Antoine Watson, 19, and his female companion Maylasia Goo, 20, both of Daly City. Goo is suspected of being an accessory to the assault. Two suspects in the Palladino attack were arrested last weekend. They are charged with attempted robbery, kidnapping to commit a robbery, assault with a deadly weapon, assault with force likely to cause great bodily injury, elder abuse and false imprisonment.
DA Chesa Boudin assured residents that prosecuting violent crime remains his administration’s top priority. Boudin, who ran on a platform of ending mass incarceration and boosting programs that divert some defendants into treatment rather than prosecution, came under fire earlier this month after a parolee allegedly killed two female pedestrians on New Year’s Eve while driving under the influence of methamphetamine and alcohol. That prompted a warning from San Francisco Police Chief William “Bill” Scott. “Anybody who thinks that San Francisco is an easy touch (should) think twice,” Scott said. “Anybody who thinks they can attack elderly individuals in our city, you need to think twice.”