In August 2021, a woman wishing to be known simply as “Rachel” was struck by a teen driver. She was walking her baby in a stroller and was plowed into by a youth who was found to have drugs in his system and marijuana in the vehicle. Kristopher Baca, the 15-year-old driving the vehicle, was racing in the wrong direction down a one-way street and, after plowing into the mom and child, sped away without checking to see if either victim was okay. Baca was already on probation for poisoning a teen girl’s drink
The viral video shows the teen “mowing down a mom & her infant in Venice”…”He was recently released after receiving a light 5-7 month sentence in juvie camp after LA-DA prosecution.”
NEW: Sources tell me the juvenile hit & run driver seen in a viral video mowing down a mom & her infant in Venice last year was shot & killed in Palmdale Weds. night. He was recently released after receiving a light 5-7 month sentence in juvie camp after @LADAOffice prosecution. pic.twitter.com/Vfeq9hgYnV
— Bill Melugin (@BillFOXLA) January 20, 2023
But on Friday, the Los Angeles County Medical Examiner-Coroner’s office confirmed Baca’s death, saying an examination was pending. Baca was found dead with gunshot wounds in a driveway on the 83600 block of 11th Street East on Wednesday, according to the sheriff’s office. Sources say Baca had left a fast food restaurant and was walking home when a car pulled up next to him, and an argument erupted. Someone in the vehicle opened fire on Baca and sped away.
Hit-and-run victim “Rachel” responded to the now 17-year-old Baca’s death by criticizing the prosecuting LA District Attorney George Gascon. She said,
“If George Gascon actually did his job, this kid would still be alive in jail.”
LA District Attorney George Gascon has a reputation for being soft on crime.
Rachel’s family left LA after the accident due to the city’s soft-on-crime policies. She said she was sad and relieved to hear of Baca’s fate, saying,
“The universe delivered the justice we weren’t given in court, but a much harsher punishment than he’d have been dealt in a court of law.”
Gascon responded to national criticism over his handling of the hit and run, saying the youth’s sentence was appropriate after he sought a five- to seven-month sentence in juvenile probation camp, a punishment for youth. Juvenile probation camp is viewed as harder than summer camp but easier than military school. Gascon defended the sentence saying,
“After reviewing the evidence, our office charged the minor with the most serious offense possible under the law: two counts of felony assault & one count of felony leaving the scene of an accident that caused injury without exchanging information.”
Critics familiar with what charges were possible, agreed with Rachel’s belief that Gascon did not sufficiently sentence the youth following the accident. She condemned Gascon’s actions saying,
“Not only did you not charge attempted murder that is provable by the driving pattern, you didn’t charge assault with a deadly weapon with a car because it would be a strike on the minor’s record. Under your policies minors cannot receive charges that result in a strike offense. This is how you ensure that their records can be wiped clean when they turn 18. I guess that’s the magical number when people become decent human beings and contributing members of society. Anything before that apparently doesn’t matter.”