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Man charged in hit-and-runs threw $20 bill at victim, hit child walking to school, DA says

A San Francisco police car is seen driving at speed.
The suspect, 54-year-old Rodney Jefferson, faces two counts of leaving the scene of an accident, reckless driving causing injury, evading police officers and driving on a suspended license, the DA’s Office said. | Source: Isaac Ceja/The Standard

A driver who struck two people, including a 14-year-old, in separate hit-and-runs on Tuesday returned to the scene of the first collision to throw a $20 bill at the victim before hitting the teen, according to officials.

The suspect, identified as 54-year-old Rodney Jefferson, was doing doughnuts with his vehicle before striking the first victim, who was crossing the street in the Tenderloin, the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office said. Jefferson later allegedly sped around another car that had stopped to allow children to cross the street outside a North Beach school when he hit a 14-year-old girl.

The DA’s Office formally charged Jefferson on Thursday with two counts of leaving the scene of an accident, reckless driving causing injury, evading police officers and driving on a suspended license.

“This type of behavior simply cannot and will not be tolerated whatsoever in this city,” District Attorney Brooke Jenkins said in a press release. “My office will do everything in our power to keep the public safe and to ensure that there is accountability for this conduct.”

Prosecutors said that after striking the pedestrian in the Tenderloin, Jefferson returned a minute later and threw a $20 bill at the victim before driving away again.

Later that morning, San Francisco police officers spotted Jefferson’s Mustang running a red light in the Tenderloin. Officers attempted to pull Jefferson over, but he did not stop, so police began to chase his vehicle, officials said.

He then allegedly continued to drive recklessly, running multiple stop signs and red lights while evading officers.

Authorities said Jefferson then struck a 14-year-old girl in a crosswalk in North Beach while trying to drive around a stopped car and fled the scene.

Shortly thereafter, Jefferson crashed into a parked car near The Embarcadero while trying to squeeze between vehicles, which disabled his Mustang, prosecutors said. He was then taken into custody.

The victims were both transported to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. According to Supervisor Aaron Peskin, the child suffered a broken shoulder and ankle in the collision.

Jefferson is scheduled to be arraigned Thursday afternoon, when prosecutors plan to request he be detained pending trial, citing the public safety risk, the DA’s Office said.