Santa Clara County DA to file hate crime charges against man who rammed car into pedestrians

The Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office will file hate crime allegations Thursday against a man who deliberately rammed his car into a crowd of pedestrians using a Sunnyvale crosswalk in an attack left eight hurt, including a 13-year-old girl who was critically injured.

Prosecutors will add the two hate crime allegations based on evidence that 34-year-old
Isaiah Peoples targeted two of the people in the crowd because he thought they were
Muslim and/or Indian. When he was arrested, witnesses captured him on his knees thanking Jesus. 

Peoples, who was previously charged with eight counts of attempted murder, faces life in
prison if convicted of all counts. He is in custody without bail, and is expected to be charged at 1:30 p.m. in  Department 38 at the Hall of Justice in San Jose. 

 “Prejudice is not harmless," DA Jeff Rosen said in a statement. "Someone’s child is in critical condition
today because of someone’s ignorance and hatred. So today, we stand with her and her family, and all of our Muslim and Indian neighbors. We will be steadfast in our work to hold this person criminally responsible for the pain and destruction his abhorrent act has caused the eight people he struck, and our entire community.”

Just after 6:30 p.m. on April 23, prosecutors say Peoples intentionally steered his Toyota Corolla into
a crowd of pedestrians crossing El Camino Real at Sunnyvale Avenue. Among the others
hurt were the girl’s father and young brother. He then crashed his car and was taken into custody by Sunnyvale officers soon afterward.

News of the charges came the morning after the city of Sunnyvale held a unity meeting to talk about how to move forward after the traumatic event.