Saratoga Councilman, 2020 Congressional Candidate Rishi Kumar Charged in Hit-and-Run

The Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office has filed charges against Saratoga councilman and congressional candidate Rishi Kumar for his alleged involvement in a September hit-and-run.

Kumar, who’s challenging Congresswoman Anna Eshoo (D-Palo Alto) for her District 18 seat in 2020, has been charged with a misdemeanor hit-and-run causing property damage. If found guilty, the councilman could spend up to six months in county jail and/or be subject to a fine of up to $1,000.

The collision occurred on Sept. 26 near Wolfe Road and Pruneridge Avenue in Cupertino, according to court records. Authorities say Kumar was traveling southbound in the second lane on Wolfe Road when he rear-ended a stopped vehicle. The impact then caused that second driver to hit the car in front of them, according to police.

“[Kumar] reversed his vehicle when he got an opportunity, and then drove forward next to [Driver] 2 on the passenger side,” according to court documents. “Driver 2 made eye contact with [Kumar]. [Kumar] raised his hand at Driver 2. Driver 2 raised his hand in response to ask for a minute because he was on the phone. Driver 2 was not sure why [Kumar] raised his hand.”

It was at this point when the second driver realized that Kumar was “not going to stop to exchange insurance information and told the dispatcher,” per court records. Santa Clara County Sheriff's Deputy Lauren Romero reportedly then located Kumar traveling southbound on Miller Avenue toward Bollinger Road a short time later.

Back at the scene of the impact, Kumar reportedly told deputies that “traffic was going slow” and that he did not realize the car in front of him was at a stop.

“[Kumar] intended to stop in the nearby parking lot to exchange information because he did not want to be in traffic,” the incident report said. “[Kumar] made a hand motion at Driver 2 to indicate to Driver 2 to make a right turn into the Hilton parking lot. [Kumar] said Driver 2 was on his cell phone and ‘waved off’ [Kumar].”

The councilman took the second driver's wave as an indication that he “did not want to exchange information.”

Kumar's Tesla had minimal front damage, the second vehicle had minor rear end damage and moderate front damage and the third vehicle had minor rear end damage. No injuries were reported.

Kumar, who did not respond to multiple requests for comment, is scheduled to be arraigned on Nov. 25 at the Palo Alto courthouse.

Grace Hase is a staff writer for San Jose Inside and Metro Silicon Valley. Email tips to [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter at @grace_hase.

10 Comments

  1. Oh, go to the City Council meeting video from last night and look at his talking about safety! Oh the irony!

  2. This man is an idiot. He lies about his beliefs and completely panders to whomever he is talking too. He’s a horrible person and even worse politician.

  3. I dunno. This evidence against Mr Kumar seems pretty sketch. Cupertino (site of the incident) is a town where political rivalries get hot and libelous and everybody yawns. That’s Cupertino. Saratoga (Mr Kumar’s hometown) isn’t going to be far behind. El Paseo de Saratoga, Peter Pau’s newest sand box, is mostly in SJ, but ouch, so vexing for Saratoga’s Measure G team.

    Mr Kumar challenges a long-time Democrat for control of one of the most powerful congressional districts in the country. (Buried. I think that’s the headline here.)

    (1) If someone had rear ended my car, the only thing on my mind would be connecting with that driver and getting his info. But this victim is on his phone. Put the phone down, man. You’ve got stuff IRL.

    (2) Heading south on Wolfe at or past Pruneridge, where would you stop to exchange license info? On the 280 overpass? In front of the blocks long demolition site where a shopping mall is destroyed to force-build office towers in a community that doesn’t want them? On Stevens Creek Blvd? After Stevens Creek (now you’re on Miller “heading toward Bollinger”, Wolfe becomes Miller), there’s neighborhood streets now and a church parking lot, but where’s the victim? Is he still on the phone blocking traffic at the donut? Oh, it doesn’t matter. Here comes the Sheriff’s Deputy ready to cite Mr Kumar.

    (3) An incident with no injuries and 3 cars with minor or minimal damage merits 2 stories in San Jose Inside and a court date. Does it?

    The more Santa Clara County reveals of itself, the more broken and sad it looks.

    Too much money circulates here to bring the good that people need. When have we had enough?

    • Randall, why are you excusing this behavior with a lot of excuses? From second guessing Cupertino Politics, Saratoga Politics, the traffic, the location (the article clearly states there was a parking lot nearby), the Congressional race, and El Paseo.

      You are throwing it all into the kitchen sink (garbage disposal) and deflecting from the VERY simple fact that Mr Kumar left the scene of an accident he caused without exchanging information with those he hit, it is a crime! And the Sheriff brought him back.

  4. Lol. Is this KARMA playing out????? Someone should checkout his business dealings. I wonder how he gets his income????

    • > Someone should checkout his business dealings. I wonder how he gets his income????

      Dear DEM:

      It was a traffic accident. How he makes his income is not material or relevent.

      Did you immigrate from some collectivist povertocracy?

      Are you planning on organizing a tribal war party to loot his estate?

    • > > Someone should checkout his business dealings. I wonder how he gets his income????

      What if he makes his money doing off-the-books abortions for white suburban women who vote for Democrats?

      Do you want to know the names of his clients, too?

  5. No excuse. He could have pulled over and reported the incident to police or non emergency number. He does not belong in public service!!

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