The family of Vicha Ratanapakdee, an 84-year-old Thai American who was murdered in broad daylight, expressed outrage after San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin compared the incident to a “temper tantrum” in an interview.
Reaction to the comment: Boudin told the New York Times that the suspect, Antoine Watson, 19, was “in some sort of temper tantrum” when he pushed Ratanapakdee to the ground and eventually killed the elderly man, according to ABC7’s Dion Lim.
- “I don’t buy it for a second, I don’t buy it for a second. He knew what he was doing. Hearing this excuse of a hissy fit is really upsetting,” Eric Lawson, Vicha Ratanapkadee’s son-in-law, told ABC7.
- “It’s breaking my heart,” said Monthanus Ratanapakdee after hearing Boudin’s comment about her father. She also did not accept the description of Watson’s behavior.
- “A temper tantrum… you can hit a car…you cannot hit or kill a human,” she said.
- Lim also obtained a police report detailing how Watson went to a car and grabbed a phone to take pictures of Ratanapakdee after the fatal attack.
- Lim said the Ratanapakdee family was horrified after hearing the remarks.
- “I want to know the truth, a clear truth,” Lawson said.
- “I hope my father’s case raise awareness for the Asian community… I wish the Asian community speaks up,” Monthanus said of the growing number of anti-Asian hate crimes in the Bay Area.
Other details: Boudin’s spokesperson, however, clarified that his comment was about Watson’s “behavior” before the killing of Ratanapakdee, Fox News reported.
- The spokesperson added Boudin “charged the killing of Mr. Ratanapakdee as a murder, the most serious crime on the books.”
- Meanwhile, a representative from the San Francisco Police Department told the network they have yet to confirm if what Lim received was a police document.
- If it was indeed a police document, authorities could not release them as the case is still under active homicide investigation, the representative added.
- Boudin took to Twitter to say his comments on Vicha Ratanapakdee’s killer were “out of context.”
Some media outlets are intentionally taking my words out of context to suggest that I am minimizing a horrific crime.
Let me be clear, as I was in my NYT interview: This was a heinous crime and my heart goes out to the victim’s family. pic.twitter.com/ZTWQ1oXF9c
— Chesa Boudin 博徹思 (@chesaboudin) March 2, 2021
What happened: Watson was caught on camera violently pushing Ratanapakdee to the ground in an attack on Jan. 28 along Anza Vista and Fortuna Avenues in San Francisco.
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- The San Francisco police took Ratanapakdee to the hospital for treatment, but he died from his injuries days later.
- Watson and a 20-year-old female accomplice identified as Maylasia Goo, both Daly City residents, were arrested.
- Watson pleaded not guilty in his first court appearance on Feb. 3.
Feature Image via Ratanapakdee Family