Bay Area Racing Limo Becomes Getaway Car in SF Homicide

Posted on September 26, 2007 by LCT Staff - Also by this author - About the author

SAN FRANCISCO — A 23-year-old Oakland man is in custody on suspicion of murder after he allegedly opened fire into a crowd that was fighting outside the Metreon shopping complex in San Francisco early Sunday, then fled in a waiting limousine, police said today.

The suspect, identified as Kenoye Stroman, was driven away in a Dodge Charger limousine decorated like a racing car, but was arrested after San Francisco police stopped the vehicle at the Grand Ave. exit off Interstate 580 in Oakland, according to police and the limo driver. The driver and several other passengers were questioned and released, police said.

Stroman is accused of shooting San Francisco resident Ronald Jacques, 27, who was killed outside Jillian's restaurant and nightclub shortly before 2 a.m. Sunday. A 29-year-old woman from San Francisco was also injured in the shooting but is expected to recover, police said. Her name was not released.

Investigators believe Stroman fired into a large crowd outside the Metreon at Fourth and Mission streets as he got into the limo around 1:45 a.m. The limo driver, 51-year-old James Dean, said the shooting followed a fist fight among a few men that within seconds grew into a brawl involving dozens of people. He had parked out front to pick up clients he dropped off at the bar about two hours before, he said.

"There were about 60 or 70 people standing outside Jillian's when two guys started beating on another man," Dean said in an interview. "Then all of a sudden, about 15 people got knocked over like a bunch of bowling pins and it turned into a full-on barroom brawl, only outdoors and with women involved."

Dean, who was driving the limousine owned by Bay Area Racing Limos of Pittsburg, said he left the scene after several members of the group that rented the limo for the evening jumped in and told him to drive off.

Dean said some of the men in the limo had been involved in the brawl but did not appear to be the ones who started it. The men told Dean to drive to Oakland, where he originally picked them up, he said. Several San Francisco police cars pulled the limo over at the Grand Ave. exit, he said.

Dean said officers had handcuffed him and taken him back to San Francisco for questioning. As he was led past an open door of the limousine, Dean could see a pistol on one of the back seats, he said. Police released him about 10 a.m. Sunday.

"My hands still hurt from being handcuffed all night, but my heart goes out to these victims," Dean said. "I had no idea what was going on. I just thought I was about to finally end my shift after a rough night."

Curt Chandler, owner of Bay Area Racing Limos, confirmed that his Dodge Charger limousine had been involved in the arrest. The limo, valued at about $80,000, has been impounded by police.

SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle

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