The cabdriver, identified Monday by police as Sam Hassan Daly, 52, of San Diego, was released from a hospital earlier with a broken nose, but he has since returned to be treated for facial injuries, San Diego police Lt. Rick O’Hanlon said.
Daly, whom police originally said was 48, was driving an Emerald Cab when it veered off Sixth Avenue and slowly drove into a large crowd at the corner of Sixth and Island avenues, O’Hanlon said. The cab was going about 15 mph, police said.
Police initially said about two dozen people were injured in the crash and the melee that followed when some patrons attacked the cabbie and pounded on his taxi. But O’Hanlon said that more victims have since come forward, putting the number of injured at 36.
Police said that Daly may have fallen asleep while driving. One witness told officers that he seemed to be “out of it” and just “drifted” off the street, police Lt. Todd Jarvis said Saturday morning.
Stingaree club owner James Brennan has said that Daly had a pair of scissors in his hand and took a swing at one of the club’s managers, but police have not substantiated that report.
The cab has been licensed to Makmar Enterprises on Kurtz Street since 1995, business records show. Metropolitan Transit System, which regulates taxis in San Diego, inspected the cab on Dec. 15 and it had no violations.
Police said they don’t believe Daly had been drinking or that he acted deliberately. Investigators are working to reconstruct the accident, re-interview witnesses, examine the taxi and identify the people involved in the fight.
San Diego police served a search warrant on Daly’s Clairemont home about midnight Saturday and seized some of Daly’s property, said his roommate, Dan Rose. Daly has not returned home and has not spoken to his roommate since the crash.
“As far as we know, it’s an unfortunate accident,” Rose said.
Rose described Daly was a “pretty solitary man” who is devoutly Muslim. Rose rented a room from Daly two months ago but was recently given until the end of the month to move out because the house is in foreclosure.
Daly’s plan was to move back to his home country of Egypt, Rose said.
Summarizing, a devoutly Muslim man from Egypt named Sam Hassan Daly slowly and methodically drives a cab into a crowd of bar patrons injuring 36 then emerges from the cab with scissors in hand swinging at the club’s owner, the incident occuring within hours of Mubarak’s ouster in his home country.
Baffling. Simply unexplainable. One wonders why someone would do such a thing.
I guess we’ll never know.