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Charges: Man, 29, Intentionally Struck 3 In ‘U’ Hit-And-Run

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(credit: CBS) Esme Murphy
Esme Murphy, a reporter and Sunday morning anchor for WCCO-TV, h...
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By Esme Murphy, WCCO-TV

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A 29-year-old Roseville man said he had “no remorse” when he hit three pedestrians in a fatal hit-and-run in Dinkytown, according to police. Now, he faces several felony charges, including second-degree murder.

On Monday, the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office charged Timothy Ayman Bakdash with second-degree murder and two felony counts of second-degree assault. If convicted, he could face a maximum penalty of life in prison.

On April 21, six days after the hit-and-run, police spoke with a person, identified only as B.B., who said that Bakdash admitted that he was driving the car in the incident.

According to the criminal complaint, at 2 a.m. on April 15, Bakdash already had “quite a few drinks” at the Library Bar in Minneapolis. Inside the bar, he apparently got into an argument with Ben Van Handel, who died as a result of this incident, and two other women. Bakdash and Handel continued the argument outside.

When Hendel walked away, Bakdash got into his vehicle, a Mitsubishi Galant, drove the wrong way on a one-way street, then onto the sidewalk and struck Handel and three other pedestrians.

Bakdash allegedly told B.B. he intended to hit and kill three of the people, but said he did not intend to strike the fourth person.

“The victim … was involved in the altercation,” said Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman. “It appears, to date, that the other two individuals that were harmed were in a different bar and just happened to be in the way when the car came the wrong way on a one-way street at 30 mph.”

According to Freeman, additional charges might be filed.

“We fully anticipate taking this to the grand jury. We think, if the evidence continues to lead the direction it is, that it is first-degree premeditated (murder),” said Freeman. “That is life without parole, without the possibility, which means when the door closes, he’s gone.”

B.B. told police that Bakdash sold him the Mitsubishi for $1,500. He said that he overheard Bakdash talking with his mother, who told him to get rid of the car that night and that she would sign the title. B.B. later picked up the car and brought it back to his garage stall to begin repairs. He later received the car’s title document, which contained Bakdash’s mother’s signature.

B.B. told police that the car’s windshield was smashed and there were dents on the car, according to the complaint.

Handel, who was a senior at the University Of Minnesota, died from his injuries on Thursday. Two other women were struck, but suffered non-life threatening injuries. One of the women sustained injuries to her leg and is currently unable to walk.

The Hennepin County Jail said there is an indefinite hold on Bakdash’s mug shot, and they will not be releasing it.

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