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San Diego cabbie in crash injuring 36 people said to be "devoutly Muslim"


The cabdriver, identified Monday by police as Sam Hassan Daly, 52, of San Diego, was released from a hospital earlier with a broken nose, but he has since returned to be treated for facial injuries, San Diego police Lt. Rick O'Hanlon said.

Daly, whom police originally said was 48, was driving an Emerald Cab when it veered off Sixth Avenue and slowly drove into a large crowd at the corner of Sixth and Island avenues, O'Hanlon said. The cab was going about 15 mph, police said.

Police initially said about two dozen people were injured in the crash and the melee that followed when some patrons attacked the cabbie and pounded on his taxi. But O'Hanlon said that more victims have since come forward, putting the number of injured at 36.


Police said that Daly may have fallen asleep while driving. One witness told officers that he seemed to be "out of it" and just "drifted" off the street, police Lt. Todd Jarvis said Saturday morning.

Stingaree club owner James Brennan has said that Daly had a pair of scissors in his hand and took a swing at one of the club's managers, but police have not substantiated that report.

The cab has been licensed to Makmar Enterprises on Kurtz Street since 1995, business records show. Metropolitan Transit System, which regulates taxis in San Diego, inspected the cab on Dec. 15 and it had no violations.

Police said they don't believe Daly had been drinking or that he acted deliberately. Investigators are working to reconstruct the accident, re-interview witnesses, examine the taxi and identify the people involved in the fight.

San Diego police served a search warrant on Daly's Clairemont home about midnight Saturday and seized some of Daly's property, said his roommate, Dan Rose. Daly has not returned home and has not spoken to his roommate since the crash.

"As far as we know, it's an unfortunate accident," Rose said.

Rose described Daly was a "pretty solitary man" who is devoutly Muslim. Rose rented a room from Daly two months ago but was recently given until the end of the month to move out because the house is in foreclosure.

Daly's plan was to move back to his home country of Egypt, Rose said.

Summarizing, a devoutly Muslim man from Egypt named Sam Hassan Daly slowly and methodically drives a cab into a crowd of bar patrons injuring 36 then emerges from the cab with scissors in hand swinging at the club's owner, the incident occuring within hours of Mubarak's ouster in his home country.

Baffling.  Simply unexplainable.  One wonders why someone would do such a thing.

I guess we'll never know.



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Comments (5)

I'm inclined to give this g... (Below threshold)

I'm inclined to give this guy the benefit of the doubt. I've had way too much fun with long-term sleep deprivation, and can relate to the symptoms.

"One witness told officers that he seemed to be "out of it" and just "drifted" off the street, police Lt. Todd Jarvis said Saturday morning."

Been there, except the 'drifting off the street', though I've zoned out at stoplights and been wakened rather abruptly by the folks honking behind me. That was when I was sucking down way too much coffee and not getting enough sleep - and when the caffine wore off I'd crash hard with very little warning.

(And it was after that I decided I needed at least 4, 5 hours a night of sleep, no matter what...)

"Police said they don't believe Daly had been drinking or that he acted deliberately."

Absent any other evidence, and remembering my own experiences, I'll not assume any malice on his part.

Now if he'd been shouting "Alluh Ackbar!" I'd think differently.

No, I guess you n... (Below threshold)

No, I guess you never WILL know--if y'all rely on the MBM.

One can only wonder what it would be like, if there were, say, a profession that reported current events as they happened. Maybe such a profession could be called journalism, or some such.

Just a thought.

It's entries like this one ... (Below threshold)
Caesar Augustus:

It's entries like this one which prove that the Internet even in a million years will never and could never become a legitimate source of news and news analysis.

First off, the guy didn't slowly and 'methodically' drive into the crowd. If the author of the post knew anything about that area of the Gaslamp Quarter he would have known that that's virtually impossible. It's not as if he lined the car up and systematically mowed the people down like a bull charging a matador. What actually happened was the guy veered off the street and happened (fortunately) at that exact time to be going pretty slow. Which is not at all surprising, since at that time of night in the Gaslamp there's too much traffic and other activity for anyone to go racing around corners into a crowd on the sidewalk at a high rate of speed, unless the driver were in fact intending to injure people. And, yes, I was in San Diego in the Gaslamp Quarter last Saturday evening, so I'm not simply talking out of my ass, like ignorant members of the blogosphere.

The guy might or might not have taken some swings at people (that's not entirely clear at this time, which is stated in the report itself), but assuming he did take some swings at people there's an obvious and non-sinister explanation (again, which is referenced in the quoted news report itself): multiple people in the crowd started beating the crap out of him after the cab stopped. If you were the cabbie you too would have tried to defend yourself.

Pointing out that the guy is a devout Muslim is the ultimate red herring. If you know anything about San Diego you'd know virtually all the cab drivers there either are from the Middle East, India or Latin America. It's simple math that there would be a high likelihood a cabbie involved in an accident there would be an Arab Muslim. But it's not as if the guy were shouting 'Allah Akbar' on the way into the crowd. Quite the contrary, all indications are that he either fell asleep or simply lost control. Again, that's referenced in the report itself.

Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar and sometimes an unfortunate accident really is an unfortunate accident. The practice in the blogosphere of reflexively jumping to conclusions and in so doing reading between every possible line to make some sort of opaque political point accomplishes nothing and, again, proves why the Internet will never have any real influence on Main St. regarding the the flow of information.

Interesting everything I ha... (Below threshold)

Interesting everything I have read so far and seen on the news claims 25 people injured and there is nothing to support claim of cabdriver having scissors in hand upon exiting cab. You make this sound like a deliberate attack. If the driver were hispanic, would he be found to be devoutly Catholic and perhaps a member of a drug cartel?

"3" Well, rot me eyes! ... (Below threshold)
gaius piconius:

"3" Well, rot me eyes! Caesar Augustus you say. If you are he then we did meet, once, long ago. Introduced by your great-uncle Julius, yeh know! That was long before the conferring of your title. But, I must confess that your bleetings seem quite like someone different...petulance, yeh know. It`ll give yeh away every time, particularly if yeh hanging out at `gaslamp quarters` in any California city. Ignorant members of...ultimate red herrings...making opaque political statements...and so on. A bit high on ya horse ya know. Politics are frequently present here in Wizbangia, but this discussion is strictly social and Rick hasn`t intimated anything contrary to that. And the Octavianus I knew would have twigged to that right away. A change of the cognomen might help you get things straight...try, perhaps...Pomposus Sinisteri.






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