San Francisco, CA — The case against a cyclist who struck a jaywalker in Noe Valley was dismissed after a jury voted overwhelmingly for his acquittal, San Francisco Public Defender Jeff Adachi announced today.
Prosecutors on Wednesday dismissed a misdemeanor reckless driving charge against 20-year-old John Kewin, said Kewin’s attorney, Deputy Public Defender Tammy Zhu. On June 10, a San Francisco jury voted 11-1 to acquit Kewin, who faced up to a year in jail if convicted.
Kewin, a college student and avid cyclist, was cited Sept. 23, 2013 following the mid-day crash on 24th Street between Castro and Noe streets. The female pedestrian, who was not in a crosswalk, was knocked unconscious and suffered facial injuries. Kewin, who was wearing a helmet, suffered minor injuries.
Three witnesses to the crash took the stand in the weeklong trial, providing conflicting testimony. A motorist testified that Kewin appeared to be adjusting his path to avoid the pedestrian and unavoidably struck her when she suddenly changed course. A cyclist, however, testified that Kewin was riding too fast and swerving. The third witness did not notice the bicycle before the collision.
The pedestrian who was injured also took the stand, testifying that she was crossing 24th Street to check her parking meter and was struck after deciding to turn around and head back to the curb. The stretch of 24th Street where the incident occurred is flat and does not have a bike lane.
Two character witnesses, Kewin’s boss and friend, testified that Kewin is a cautious cyclist who takes safety seriously.
Kewin stayed at the scene of the crash and cooperated with police.
“The evidence in this case was clear: It was an accident, not a crime,” Zhu said.
Dismissing the case was the right thing to do, Adachi said.
“Mr. Kewin is a law-abiding cyclist who was cited based on the word of a single witness who was wrong about what really happened. His public defender worked tirelessly to present all the facts of the case to build a complete picture of what happened that day, and the case was dismissed after 11 jurors agreed with her,” Adachi said.