Randolph Ang, Local Cyclist, Charged with Death of Dionette Cherney -- Finally

Categories: bikes
post election charges
Update: District Attorney's Office responds. Read after jump.

Four months after a cyclist blew through a red light on the Embarcadero, killing 68-year-old Dionette Cherney as she walked across the street, the District Attorney's Office has brought charges against the biker.

Randolph Ang, 23, has been charged with misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter after he collided with Cherney as she crossed the street on July 15. Cherney, a tourist visiting from Washington, D.C., suffered a serious head injury and was on life support for a month before she died from head trauma.

Ang faces a maximum sentence of a year in jail if convicted, according to the DA's Office. 
In spite of the tragedy, District Attorney George Gascón seemed to be dragging his feet when it came to pressing charges -- and as SF Weekly noted in September, the timing was curious. Gascón was running for DA -- and garnering the cyclist vote would have helped. But the delayed charges seemed egregious to some pols who questioned Gascón's intentions.

State Democratic Party Chairman John Burton drafted a letter to Gascón, criticizing the DA for what appeared to be a political move to win over the city's large population of cyclists. It wasn't until one week after Gascón won his seat that he moved ahead and charges.

"If this was anyone from San Francisco, they wouldn't be taking so long," Burton told the Chron the day before the election.

However, Stephanie Ong Stillman, a spokeswoman with the DA's Office, defended the timing of the charges, explaining that the District Attorney did not receive the medical examiner's report until Nov. 9, 2011 -- the day before it notified Ang of the charges.

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