OAKLAND -- A 19-year-old woman suspected of deliberately hitting and killing a man with a car at the site of an East Oakland street party Saturday night has been charged with murder, authorities said Thursday.
Deje R. Lewis, of Oakland, is charged in the death of Luis J. Velasco, 33, of Oakland.
She has been under arrest since Saturday and is scheduled to be in court Wednesday to enter a plea and determine who her attorney will be. She is being held without bail at Santa Rita Jail.
The incident happened just after 9 p.m. Saturday at the intersection of 61st Avenue and Eastlawn Street, the site of a street party.
Police said Lewis and a friend, who were not members of the party, got into a dispute while driving by the site and got out of the car to continue the argument. Lewis was driving a relative's Buick, even though her driver's license is suspended, police said.
Some partygoers came to the aid of the friend, and one of them hit Lewis, police said. Lewis drove alone to her nearby home and got some people to drive back to the scene with her to confront the people who had assaulted her, police said.
Back at the party site, Lewis and her colleagues got into an argument with partygoers on the street. As tensions escalated, Lewis and the others got back into the car to leave, police said.
Officer Leo Sanchez said, according to witnesses, as Lewis was driving away northbound on 61st Avenue, she headed directly at a
Lewis was arrested a few hours later and the car recovered. Sanchez said she claimed she was scared of the hostile crowd and thought someone in the crowd had a gun.
But Sanchez said police cannot substantiate the gun claim and that Lewis had other routes she could have taken to escape the area without hitting anyone. He also said she had an obligation to report what happened to police but did not.