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John on August 29, 2006 at 5:42 pm

Hugh Hewitt has the story of a driver who ran down 14 people in a little over 2 hours near Fremont, CA.

Who is this guy?

A quick search of Google yields a hit for that name on the Stanislaus County Superior Court Case Index. Stanislaus County Courthouse is in Modesto. The case is traffic related according to this listing, but I can’t find any other information. Has this guy done something like this before?

Is this another terrorist incident like this one? Or just some nut?

Update: Looking again at the court record from Stanislaus County, it is listed as an infraction, which I believe is one step below a misdemeanor. If so, this would probably be some minor traffic issue such as speeding.

Also, I notice the AP story says this:

A woman who identified herself as his cousin said he was having recurring nightmares about someone coming to kill him and had been taking medication.

So at the moment it’s looking more like someone with a mental problem. However, the media always seems eager to downplay possible terror connections, so I’m going to wait for more information.

Update: I also notice that a search of the name Popal turns up references to Afghanistan and Pakistan. Since it seems that is where the name is more, it suggests that is probably where Omeed or his family originate from.

Update: The city of Fremont, since 2001, has included Kabul, Afghanistan as one of several “sister cities.” This was at the urging of a group in Fremont called the Afghan Coalition which works with the city of Fremont to create programs for the local Afghan population. (Who knew Fremont had a big Afghan population?) This article estimates the Fremont area Afghan population at about 40,000. The director of the Afghan Coalition is Rona Popal. No relation most likely, but it does show that this is a popular Afghan name.

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