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Omeed Aziz Popal's Lawyer Quits; Murder Victim's Family Grieves

From the Mercury News:

Omeed Aziz Popal, the driver suspected of killing a Fremont man and injuring 14 San Francisco pedestrians in a hit-and-run spree on Tuesday, needs a new attorney.


Millbrae attorney Majeed Samara was retained by Popal's family, but said today that he decided to hand the case over to the public defender's office after briefly meeting Popal this afternoon.

``The case is very complicated,'' he said. Earlier today, Samara said Popal's defense would likely require many expensive psychiatrists that he wasn't sure the family could afford.

San Francisco police are holding Popal in the psychiatric ward of San Francisco County Jail, according to Eileen Hirst, the sheriff's chief of staff. Police arrested Popal Tuesday after 14 minutes of terror, when officials say Popal drove his black Honda Pilot sport-utility vehicle onto sidewalks and pushed into crosswalks as he mowed down pedestrians on busy city streets around 12:45 p.m.

Meanwhile, Stephen J. Wilson's family is grieving:

On Tuesday morning, Stephen J. Wilson, 54, told his longtime girlfriend that he was taking his beloved 1980 Mercedes to a local Fremont mechanic to get some shocks. "I'll be back," Wilson told Tessie Ferrer.


Wilson never returned. At about noon Tuesday, the registered nurse was walking home when he was struck and killed by suspected hit-and-run driver Omeed Aziz Popal, 29. Popal never stopped and instead drove on to San Francisco, where he allegedly ran over at least 14 people during a rampage in his Honda Pilot sport utility vehicle, police said.

Today, Ferrer, 51, was struggling to grasp the loss of Wilson, whom she met when both were nurses at Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in San Francisco. Wilson had since transferred to Kaiser in Oakland, where he worked in the emergency room.

"He had a big heart," she said.

Her nickname for him was "Pooh," because at one point "he was getting a tummy" that resembled that of Winnie the Pooh. He liked to call Ferrer "Pit" because she could be like a pit bull.

"I'm just kind of overwhelmed right now," Ferrer told The Chronicle this morning. "I still can't believe what happened."

Ferrer said of the suspect, "The person needs help."


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Comments (6)

No, this slagheap of a huma... (Below threshold)

No, this slagheap of a human being needs to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law and NO EXCUSES should be made. His behavior was criminal, and I don't give a rat's eardrum what "excuses" he is making - those aren't reasons and they aren't justification.

The more we excuse the behavior of these idiots, the more we will encourage other idiots!

Ferrer said of the suspe... (Below threshold)
Cybrludite:

Ferrer said of the suspect, "The person needs help."

I'd say what he needs is a long fall attached to a short rope, but that's just me. I've been kind of cranky for the past year for some reason...

Damn. Now the TSA is going ... (Below threshold)
Rance:

Damn. Now the TSA is going to ban Hondas and a lot of us are going to have to walk to work.

Calling for the head of the... (Below threshold)
Robert:

Calling for the head of the mentally ill.
What is this, Texas?

I wonder how one can diagno... (Below threshold)
epador:

I wonder how one can diagnose the fellow so easily as mentally ill? Perhaps the same experts that can tell so easily which politicians are to be trusted and which are evil incarnates of the devil's past disciples?

He sounds like another Timothy McVeigh.

I agree entirely with looking for the answer: What happened to him in Afghanistan?

epador,You seem li... (Below threshold)
Robert:

epador,

You seem like the kind of person who is trying to get to the bottom of the story. An investigative journalist, so to speak.

Here's one to run with.
See if there are any ties between those who pushed for the Iraq War (Bush, Cheney, Rummy, Wolfie, etc.) and those who profit the most from the War in Iraq (The Carlyle Group, Bechtel, Halliburton, The Energy Companies who met to define this country's energy policy, etc).

Let us know if you find any connections.

Thanks.




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