Rock n' Roll Doggie
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: San Mateo
Local Time: 08:38 PM
Man mowes down 14 people 1 dead in San Francisco
-- As many as 14 people were injured this afternoon by a motorist who drove around San Francisco running them down before he was arrested, authorities said.
Seven of those injured were in critical condition, police and firefighters said.
Authorities have identified the man who was arrested as Omeed Aziz Popal, who has addresses in Ceres (Stanislaus County) and Fremont.
Authorities said they believe Popal was the same driver who ran over and killed a 55-year-old man walking in a bicycle lane in Fremont, at Fremont Boulevard near Ferry Lane, just after noon. That crash scene is just blocks from Popal's Fremont address, where he had most recently been living.
Popal was arrested at a Walgreens at Spruce and California streets.
In San Francisco, the attacks began around 1 p.m., but it was unclear in what order:
• Two people, one of them a child, were critically injured around by a sport-utility vehicle on the 3500 block of California Street in Laurel Heights.
• Three people were hit at California and Fillmore streets. Witnesses said they included a man with a broken hip and a woman with a gashed head.
• Two people were seriously hurt at Bush and Pierce streets and one person was seriously injured at Bush and Buchanan streets, police said. One person suffered minor injuries in an incident at 1850 Fillmore Street.
• Two other people suffered minor injuries when they were hit at Pine at Divisadero streets, and another two were hit and suffered minor injuries at Divisadero and Bush Street.
"It was like 'Death Race 2000,' " firefighter Danny Bright said at California and Fillmore streets, as an ambulance stood nearby. "Guys were walking down the sidewalk and the guy just came up and ran them over. The guy went crazy.''
Fire Lt. Mindy Talmadge said Mayor Gavin Newsom had been notified and was coordinating the response with the command post at Spruce and California streets.
This afternoon, Newsom left City Hall saying he was en route to a hospital -- presumably San Francisco General, where seven people had been admitted.
"Eleven people were hurt in the field, and police are still finding others," said Lann Wilder, a spokeswoman for San Francisco General Hospital.
Of those, six adults and one child were being treated for blunt trauma at S.F. General, she said.
Wilder did not comment on the patients' conditions, but said she would provide further details later this afternoon.
Three people were taken to St. Francis Hospital, one to Kaiser and two others California Pacific Medical Center, Wilder said.
One victim, Pedro Aglugov, 70, was sitting at a table at a sidewalk cafe at California and Fillmore with his head bandaged with gauze, holding an ice pack to one elbow.
"He was going real fast," Aglugov said of the driver. "I was lucky I wasn't hurt more.''
Eliseo Billones Jr., 24, a canvasser for Greenpeace, was standing on the corner when Aglugov was hit.
"He was going berserk," Billones said of the driver. "It was a red light and he just ran the red light. I saw him (Aglugov) hit the corner of the bumper and tumble.''
Barclay Lynn, 39, of San Francisco, said she and a friend were driving east on Bush when they saw a black SUV driving away and saw a motorcyclist who had been hit.
"The motorcyclist stood in the intersection trying to signal the driver to stop,'' Lynn said. The SUV then "went speeding in reverse on Bush heading west, weaving in and out of traffic. The whole right side of his SUV was smashed in.''
At Frankie's Bohemian Cafe at Divisadero and Pine, a man named William, who asked that his last name not be used, said he was walking south on Divisadero when "we heard the thump, turned around, saw bodies flying.''
He described the vehicle as a black Honda Pilot SUV that looked new and had a windshield that was shattered on the right side.
The driver went down Pine and Bush, "stood on the gas,'' then a couple of minutes later "came flying up through the bus lane'' headed north on Divisadero.
Another man at the cafe, Max Bran, said, "We thought he was going to stop and give up, but instead he just stepped on the gas. It didn't matter, regardless of the lights.''
He saw a woman knocked down. "She was just crossing the street, just crossing the street," he said. "In fact, I had just crossed the street.''
The two men said someone who had been at the cafe earlier picked up a license plate from the SUV.
Authorities believe the same suspect struck and killed a pedestrian in Fremont earlier today.
That victim was walking north on Fremont Boulevard in the bicycle lane when he was struck from behind and knocked several feet into a field, Fremont Officer Alan Zambonin said.
He was pronounced dead at the scene. The black SUV, a Honda described as a Pilot or a CRV, made no attempt to stop or help the victim, police said.
The vehicle had right front end damage and a shattered windshield.
Zambonin said one witness saw the collision from about 1,000 feet away, then stopped to try to help the man, who was already dead.
Zambonin estimated the SUV was going as fast as 50 mph and sped away with a blown out windshield.
"It's a good possibility (the incidents) are all connected,'' Zambonin said.
Chronicle staff writers Vanessa Hua, Matt Stannard, Wyatt Buchanan, Jill Tucker, Nanette Asimov, Cecilia Vega and Susan Sward contributed to this report.