Suspects in two high-profile crimes against Asian Americans in San Francisco were released despite pressure from prosecutors for them to await trial in jail.
San Francisco Superior Court Judge Marisa Chun decided Friday to put 20-year-old Gustavo Ribeiro-Quintanilha—who’s accused of holding an 88-year-old Asian woman at gunpoint during a home invasion and robbery in Ingleside—on house arrest with electronic monitoring.
In arguing for Ribeiro-Quintanilha to stay in jail on Monday, Nancy Tung, the chief of the Vulnerable Victims Unit at the District Attorney’s Office, said he’s a danger to the public because he used guns and has a rap sheet with multiple offenses in San Francisco and San Mateo counties.
Releasing him would put others at risk of “great bodily injury,” Tung said.
However, Judge Chun, who jailed Ribeiro-Quintanilha after his arrest in October, said he has “now been assessed,” and that new information suggests he’s suitable for supervised release.
Other factors that weighed into the judge’s decision included the suspect’s young age, family support, a short criminal history and how he didn’t physically hurt anyone during the alleged crime, which took place in April. Even so, Judge Chun admonished him to stay away from people who’d be a “bad influence.”
According to the police report, two suspects broke into the octogenarian’s home and “forced her into her bathroom at gunpoint” while they rummaged through her belongings. The victim’s daughter told KPIX the ordeal reduced the victim to tears and terrified her whole family.
Ribeiro-Quintanilha’s release from jail comes soon after a similar decision in a separate crime that victimized an Asian American.
Robert Green—who’s accused of driving the car involved in a fatal crash that killed a 66-year-old Asian woman, Huansu He, and seriously injured an 81-year-old—got out of jail last month.
Prosecutors said releasing Green, who’s charged with manslaughter, would endanger the public, citing police reports that claim he was high on cannabis and heavily medicated while behind the wheel.
Chinese-language media first reported on Judge Patrick Thompson’s decision to release the 47-year-old Bay Area native.
Jesse Hsieh, the deputy public defender representing Green, told The Standard that supervised release would pose no danger to anyone. Some of the factors that Hsieh said suggest as much, include the defendant’s clean driving record, family support and a job that was steady until he was sidelined from injuries in the crash. Plus, he stayed at the crash scene, which indicates he’s not much of a flight risk.
“These facts,” Hsieh said, “demonstrated to the judge that this was a one-time, tragic accident.”
Han Li can be reached at [email protected]