Bail denied for accused rampage driver
By Brigid Gaffikin, Bay City News Service
August 31, 2006
Bail was denied today for a Fremont man facing a slew of felony
charges in connection with a string of hit-and-run collisions
in San Francisco Tuesday afternoon that sent at least 13 people
to the hospital, seven with serious injuries.
Omeed Aziz Popal, 29, has been in custody since Wednesday and
didn't appear in San Francisco Superior Court today.
He will be represented by public defender William Maas, who said
Popal's mental health is still being evaluated. Popal's next court
appearance is scheduled for Wednesday.
A prosecutor said in court today that Popal had told authorities
that he wanted to kill a police officer, but couldn't find any.
Authorities believe that before the hit-and-run spree in San
Francisco, around noon in Fremont, Popal drove into and killed
a 54-year-old pedestrian, Stephen J. Wilson of Fremont.
Popal faces 18 counts of assault with a deadly weapon, a felony
count of battery on a peace officer causing injury and a felony
count of reckless evasion from police.
If convicted on all charges, he could face life in prison.
The charges in San Francisco are separate from any he might face
in Alameda County, where Wilson was killed.
Popal's family had no public comment today besides expressing
sympathy for the collision victims. After today's brief hearing,
a group of Popal's family members, including his mother and brother,
hurried out of the courtroom, one woman covering her face with
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