Hit-and-run rampage driver ordered to hospital

A judge today ordered a Fremont man found not guilty by reason of insanity for a series of hit-and-run attacks in the city in 2006 to be transferred to Napa State Hospital for treatment.

San Francisco Superior Court Judge Carol Yaggy said 31-year-old Omeed Aziz Popal will be sent to the hospital until his sanity is restored, for a minimum of 180 days and a maximum of 55 years and four months, according to the terms of a July 31 plea deal with San Francisco prosecutors.

The prosecutors have said they believe Popal will likely be confined to a state hospital for the rest of his life.

Popal has been in custody in San Francisco nearly two years since the Aug. 29, 2006 attacks, during which Popal, driving a sport utility vehicle, struck more than a dozen pedestrians on various city streets over a 15-minute period.

One woman suffered major injuries and is now a quadriplegic.

Court-appointed doctors found that Popal suffers from schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

The San Francisco attacks happened about 45 minutes after Popal allegedly struck and killed 54-year-old Stephen Jay Wilson in Fremont.

Popal is still scheduled to stand trial for that murder in Alameda County. Should he be found guilty in that case, Popal would have to be restored to sanity before he could be transferred to a state prison. Bay City News

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