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Arrest Made In Fatal U Of M Hit-And-Run

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By James Schugel, WCCO-TV

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Minneapolis Police have made an arrest in the hit-and-run crash near the University of Minnesota last week that killed one person and seriously injured two others. A fourth student was also hit.

Timothy Ayman Bakdash, 29, was arrested Thursday for probable cause attempted murder in connection with the April 15 incident.

Court documents show Bakdash pleaded guilty to a careless driving charge in 2008. About a month later, he pleaded guilty to DWI.

“Through a series of tips and witness accounts, our homicide investigators were able to locate him,” said Sgt. Stephen McCarty with the Minneapolis Police Department.

Police brought Bakdash in for questioning on Thursday and later arrested him.

“Just good to know this person is not on the street and not a danger to anyone else,” said Joe Bailin, one of the students who was hit but not seriously hurt, after hearing the news that police arrested Bakdash. “I know I’m happy to see they found someone. That’s what I’ve been waiting for, and I know a lot of people have been waiting to see that happen.”

Bailin, his girlfriend and another friend were walking home from a Dinkytown bar late that night, after celebrating their admissions to graduated school.

Ben Van Handel, another student who they did not know, was also walking in the area. He died Thursday from injuries suffered as a result of the accident. He was set to graduate in May with a degree in economics.

According to Van Handel’s CaringBridge website, both of his kidneys and his pancreas will be donated to people in need. He suffered a traumatic brain injury and broke several bones during the crash.

According to the Minnesota Daily, Van Handel was walking a friend home that night.

Witnesses at the scene reported hearing a car accelerate before the three were hit.

Bakdash is in the Hennepin County Jail. The Hennepin County Attorney is expected to charge him Monday.

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