The long impact of the killing of Vicha Ratanapakdee by by Anh Lê San Francisco Based Independent Journalist
By: Wright Enterprises, www.wrightnow.biz
Originally posted in the Marina Times Newspaper in San Francisco
The long impact of the killing of Vicha Ratanapakdee
by Anh Lê
Vicha Ratanapakdee, an 84-year old immigrant from Thailand, was preparing to go on his early morning walk in the quiet Anza Vista neighborhood of San Francisco on Saturday, January 28, 2021. The Thai grandfather had just survived his heart surgery 9 months before, and his doctor told him to walk daily for his exercise. It was around 8:28 a.m. when Ratanapakdee, a short and thin man and nearly blind, suddenly got shoved hard into the sidewalk by 19-year old Antoine Watson. Watson was sitting in his BMW with his girlfriend; when he saw Ratanapakdee, he got out of his car, ran fast across the street and violently attacked the elderly Thai man.
Film footage of the vicious attack, shown on ABC 7, KPIX, and other TV stations, shows Ratanapakdee hit the sidewalk pavement hard, his head jerk upward after hitting the pavement, and his head and body slide into a garage door. Another video shows that after the attack, Watson jerked both his arms hard as if he felt thrilled with attacking the elderly Thai man, according to Eric Lawson, Ratanapakdee's son-in-law. "He acted like somebody who had just made a big play sacking the quarterback in the Super Bowl," Lawson said.
According to Lawson and Monthanus Ratanapakdee, the Thai man's older daughter, the video shows Watson return to his BMW, enter it, get out of his car again, run across the street back to where Ratanapakdee's body lay, and take pictures of his body before going back to his car.
Ratanapakdee never woke up after the attack, and died a couple days later from bleeding in his brain.
"At the hospital, a neurologist told us that even if my father were to survive, he would no longer have any normal functions." Monthanus Ratanapakdee said.
She and her family bear unspeakable grief from the killing of her father.
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(Vicha Ratanapakdee and his daughter Monthanus Ratanapakdee at the Fairmont Hotel in 2019, Photo courtesy Monthanus Ratanapakdee)