Crime and Safety

Cypress woman confronted man and accused him of intending to run over a cat; fatally struck him with her vehicle

Authorities announced Wednesday that a California woman has been accused with killing a man by driving into him after accusing him of trying to drive over a cat in the street. Hannah Star Esser, 20, has been charged with murder in the death of Victor Anthony Luis, 43, and is being held on $1 million bond, according to a statement from the Orange County prosecutor’s office.

Sunday night, while driving in the Cypress subdivision, Esser allegedly stopped Luis and accused him of attempting to drive over a cat.

Authorities say that both she and Luis exited their automobiles and engaged in a dispute that was videotaped by Esser.

According to authorities, Esser then returned to her vehicle, turned around, “advanced” toward Luis, and struck him with the right front of her vehicle.

The man “was propelled into the hood and windshield and flipped multiple times before landing in the street,” according to officials.

He was declared deceased at the scene.

This fall, Luis, the father of five girls, is expecting his first grandson. He was murdered in front of his apartment building and “died in the arms of his only brother,” according to a statement released by his family on Wednesday.

“This horrible act of violence has robbed the world of a bright light who will never be forgotten,” the statement added, adding that his sister has launched a GoFundMe campaign to cover the cost of his funeral.

Court records indicate that Esser was arrested on Sunday and made his initial court appearance on Tuesday. She will be arraigned on October 13. A request for comment was received via email to defense attorney Michael Morrison.

District attorney’s office spokesperson Kimberly Edds stated that it was not immediately apparent whether a cat was involved. She stated that the crime is still being investigated.

Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer said in a statement, “This action shown a total disdain for human life.” The District Attorney’s Office of Orange County will ensure that this random act of violence against a stranger is prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

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