San Francisco police officer Christopher Kohrs became internet famous in 2014 when photos of him patrolling the streets of the Castro went viral on social media.
Soon, he was an Instagram star and landed a modeling gig with the men’s clothing company Blade + Blue. He was profiled in the national media. And a Facebook page for the “Hot Cop of Castro” accumulated over 50,000 followers.
Eventually, he got so famous that he had to be taken off the Castro beat and moved to an entirely different neighborhood, where people wouldn’t recognize him as much.
“Everything was going pretty good until the news cameras and vans started following me around from call to call,” Kors told an interviewer in July 2015. “That’s when things can get a little crazy with officer safety.”
He went on to say that people were constantly asking for his autograph, taking pictures of him in public, and hanging around outside of his house.
“Everyone was watching every move I made so I made sure I wasn’t doing anything inappropriate at any time,” he said. “I drove very carefully, never peeled out. Just little minor stuff that kind of changed. I never got overly drunk …. Because everyone was watching.”
Cut to four months later…
In November 2015, Kohrs was involved in a hit and run accident after leaving a bar in San Francisco’s North Beach neighborhood.
The incident happened around 2:20 a.m. on November 29. Upon plowing over two pedestrians with his 2009 Dodge Charger, Kohrs, who was off duty at the time, fled the scene, ditching his car a few blocks later and taking off on foot.
A crowd of witnesses recognized him and started yelling “Hot cop! Hot cop!” as he stumbled away.
One of Kohrs’ victims suffered a missing tooth, broken jaw, fractured ankle, and torn shoulder ligament. The other suffered a broken nose, broken eye socket, broken neck, brain hemorrhage, spinal fracture, and memory impairment.
Kohrs turned himself in at police headquarters the next day and was immediately placed on unpaid leave. Shortly after that, his mugshot was released by the San Francisco Police Department.
— San Francisco Police (@SFPD) December 16, 2015
During his trial in April 2018, defense attorney Peter Furst argued that his client fled the scene because of his “Hot Cop of Castro” internet fame.
According to Furst, the crowd that formed after the collision and started yelling “Hot cop! Hot cop!” made Kohrs feel threatened. So he bolted, leaving the two pedestrians he had just hit for dead.
During his testimony, Kohrs told the court, “I made a split second decision. It was the wrong decision. I let fear overcome my mind.”
The jury, however, was unmoved. It deliberated for just one day before coming back with a guilty verdict on two felony counts of hit and run.
Judge Carol Yaggy immediately ordered Kohrs into custody without bail, citing his penchant for fleeing crime scenes as her reason. She then sentenced him to nine months in jail, followed by three years’ probation and various other conditions, including paying restitution to his victims, one of whom ultimately suffered permanent injuries and racked up over $600,000 in medical bills.
Today, with his nine month jail sentence served, Kohrs is about halfway through his three-year probation and keeping a very low profile. So low, in fact, that there are virtually no traces of him on social media.
His Instagram page has been deactivated and that Facebook fan page with over 50,000 followers has been deleted. In fact, the only online remnants of the “Hot Cop of Castro” can be found in Google Images, peppered between photos of Kohrs entering and exiting the courtroom, screenshots of surveillance footage taken the night of the accident, and his mugshot.
Speaking to that interviewer way back in July 2015, Kohrs said, “If a police officer does something positive, and they put that in the news, it might grab 1,000 viewers. But, if they show something negative a police officer did, it might grab 100,000 viewers.”
“If we do one bad thing or make one mistake,” he added, “it gets blasted all over the news.”