http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2006/08/29/BAGAEKRCO55.DTL <b>Up to 14 hurt in SF hit-and-run spree 7 critical; driver believed to have struck, killed a man in Fremont earlier</b> SAN FRANCISCO -- As many as 14 people were injured this afternoon by a motorist who drove around San Francisco deliberately running them down before being arrested by police, who believe the same driver struck and killed a man earlier today in Fremont. At least one hit-and-run victim remained in critical condition this evening. Reports of the incidents began pouring in at 12:47 p.m., police said. <b>Within a half-hour, San Francisco police had cornered and arrested 29-year-old Omeed Aziz Popal, who has addresses in Ceres (Stanislaus County) and Fremont.</b> Authorities suspect Popal was the same driver who ran over and killed a 54-year-old man in Fremont around noon. That man, whose name was not immediately released, had been walking in a bicycle lane at Fremont Boulevard near Ferry Lane when he was struck and thrown into a field, where, as of 5:30 p.m., his body remained covered with a tarp. That crash scene is just blocks from Popal's Fremont address, where he had most recently been living. San Francisco police spokesman Sgt. Neville Gittens said the attacks in the city occurred at 12 locations over a 20-minute period. "The hits were intentional,'' he said, noting that police are treating them as assaults. Gittens had no information about a possible motive. Popal was arrested after patrol cars boxed in his black Honda SUV, its windshield and right front headlight smashed, outside a Walgreens store on Spruce Street between California and Mayfair in the Laurel Heights area. A dental office manager, who identified herself only as Kira, watched from a second-floor window as police dragged the driver out of his vehicle. "He was absolutely indifferent, no fear, no expression,'' she said. "He was like a zombie.'' Architect Jeremy Warms also saw police pull Popal out of the SUV and sit him down on the curb. "He looked calm and pretty clean-cut, like a normal guy,'' Warms said. "He sat on the pavement for a good 25 minutes. I don't think anyone said anything to him. They put him in a police car and took him away.'' This evening, it was unclear exactly how many people had been injured, and in what order the incidents occurred. The police reported the following injuries: -- Two people, one of them a child, were seriously injured 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. -- One person was seriously injured at Bush and Buchanan streets. -- One person suffered minor injuries in an incident at 1850 Fillmore St. -- Two other people suffered minor injuries when they were hit at Pine at Divisadero streets. -- Two people were hit and suffered minor injuries at Divisadero and Bush streets. "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." Mayor Gavin Newsom visited five of the victims at San Francisco General Hospital. "This was so senseless and inexplicable,'' the mayor said afterward. One man he visited, who identified himself as Jesse, said as he was walking out of the hospital, "The car came after me. I'm lucky to be alive. Life is good.'' Of the other six victims taken to S.F. General, who ranged in age from 18 to 84, four were scheduled to be discharged later in the day, and one was in critical condition in the intensive care unit, said Eileen Shields, spokeswoman for the city Public Health Department. Three other victims were taken to St. Francis Hospital, one to Kaiser and two to California Pacific Medical Center, authorities said. Emanule Gowan, 50, said he had been standing on his Steiner Street doorstep around 1 p.m. when an SUV roared by, driving the wrong way down Bush Street, and hit an elderly man in the crosswalk. "The man must have gone up in the air about 8 feet and landed on the SUV's windshield,'' Gowan said. "He slid off the windshield, and the SUV rolled right over him and took off, leaving the man hollering on the ground.'' After running a stop sign and hitting another pedestrian in a crosswalk on Sutter Street, the driver headed off down Steiner, Gowan said. "I looked right at him, and he looked at me as he busted down the street," Gowan said. "He was very calm.'' Other witnesses described the SUV as jumping the sidewalk in apparent pursuit of pedestrians. Jackie Le, owner of J.T. Nails on Fillmore Street, said she was filing a customer's nails around 12:50 p.m. when the woman started screaming, "Oh my God, an SUV on the sidewalk -- it hit a woman on the sidewalk.'' Linda Tuttle, a stylist at a beauty salon on Fillmore between Bush and Sutter, said she saw the driver heading down the sidewalk, sitting close to the steering wheel, an angry look on his face. Larry Jackson saw the vehicle driving the right direction on Bush Street, slowing at the intersection of Pierce Street as a woman walked in the crosswalk. "He let her walk by till she got in front of him, and he just punched it," Jackson said. He attended to the woman and, a short time later, the driver roared down Bush in the wrong direction. <b>The SUV struck two people in front of the Jewish Community Center of San Francisco on California Street, a few blocks from where the rampage ended.</b> Blood covered the sidewalk in front of the center's gift store entrance, and 50 feet farther down the sidewalk lay a mangled bicycle. Security cameras in front of the center captured images of the incident, which happened at 1:12 p.m., according to Aaron Rosenthal, spokesman for the community center. 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, had been 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 had been traveling east on Bush when they noticed a black SUV driving away and saw that a motorcyclist 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 had been walking south on Divisadero when "we heard the thump, turned around, saw bodies flying.'' 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.'' Bran said 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.'' Authorities suspect that the SUV is the same one that struck and killed a pedestrian in Fremont earlier today. That victim had been 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. Zambonin estimated the SUV had been traveling as fast as 50 mph and sped away with a blown out windshield and damage to the right front side. "It's a good possibility (the incidents) are all connected,'' Zambonin said.