Sheriff’s Department: Accused hit-and-run driver attempts suicide

Omeed Aziz Popal, the driver accused of running down 18 people in an alleged hit-and-run rampage, attempted to hang himself Thursday, according to Sheriff’s Department officials.

Popal, 29, was in a holding cell at the county jail at the time of the suicide attempt and was moved to San Francisco General for psychiatric evaluation.

Last week, a judge deemed Popal competent to stand trail, a result, his defense attorney said at the time, of a positive reaction to a new medication regimen that was part of his mental health treatment he received since he was jailed.

On Aug. 29, Popal allegedly drove his Honda Pilot sport utility vehicle on a winding course through San Francisco, intentionally hitting pedestrians in crosswalks, on sidewalks and in the street. At least 18 people were injured before police boxed him in with their cars, stopping him at the intersection of Spruce and California streets.

Popal is charged with 18 counts of attempted murder and assault with a deadly weapon, as well as one count of battery on a peace officer causing injury and one of reckless evasion from police. He also faces one murder charge in Alameda County for allegedly running down Stephen Wilson, 54, in Fremont before heading to San Francisco to continue his rampage.

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