Cypress stunned by senseless act of violence that kills father

Hannah Esser will be arraigned this week after being charged with murder. Courtesy photo

In what the victim’s family characterized as a “senseless” act of violence, a 43-year-old man is dead this week and a 20-year-old woman is in jail accused of his murder.

“This action showed a complete disregard for human life,” said Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer. “The Orange County District Attorney’s Office will ensure that this random act of violence targeting a stranger will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”

Authorities say woman has been charged with murder after running over Victor Anthony Luis, 43, because she believed he had tried to run over a cat in Cypress on Sunday Police say the man later died as a result of being run over by the woman after she confronted him in the street.

Hannah Star Esser, 20, has been charged with one felony count of murder. She faces a maximum sentence of 25 years to life if convicted.

Spitzer’s office said Esser is scheduled to be arraigned on Oct. at the Stephen K. Tamura Justice Center in Westminster. She is being held on $1 million bail, his office said.

According to a statement issued by investigators, here is what they believe happened.

“On Sunday, September 25, 2022, at approximately 8:23 p.m. Esser is accused of driving in the 9700 block of Graham Street in Cypress when she confronted a man she believed was trying to run over a cat in the street.”

Esser is accused of getting out of her vehicle and with her phone, recording the confrontation that included profanity and accusations that the man, later identified as Luis, was trying to run over the cat.

They say Luis got out of his vehicle to confront Esser in the street.

Esser is accused of getting back in her car, continuing to argue with Victor before driving off. Instead of continuing away from Victor and out of the area, Esser made a 3-point turn to drive and drove back towards Victor in the direction of a cul-de-sac.

The 20-year-old then made a U-turn, accelerated and drove directly at Victor, investigators say.  Esser is accused of intentionally driving into Victor, striking him with the right front of her car.  Victor was launched up onto the hood and windshield and flipped several times before he landed in the street. Victor was pronounced dead at the scene.

Senior Deputy District Attorney Dave Porter of the Homicide Unit is prosecuting the case and the Cypress Police Department is handing the investigation, the District Attorney’s office said.

The ENE has reached out to the Cypress Police Department for further comment.

The family issued a statement which was posted to the GoFundMe site they launched to help pay for Luis’ funeral expense.

“On Sunday September 25th, we lost Victor Anthony Luis in a tragic and senseless act of violence,” the family said.

“He was a gentle soul as 0well as a loving son, father, and brother who did not deserve this. He leaves behind a loving family and five daughters. Any help will go towards his funeral expenses and family.”

Persons wanting to contribute can reach the fundraiser via the link below.

Fundraiser by Angelica Moraga : Victor Luis’ Funeral Expenses (