HATE CRIME

Army Veteran in Sunnyvale Crash Was Targeting Muslims When He Drove Car Into Crowd: Police

Police say an Army veteran charged with eight counts of attempted murder for driving into a crowd of people was targeting Muslims in the incident earlier this week, The San Francisco Chronicle reports. Sunnyvale Police Chief Phan Ngo said the “evidence” indicated 34-year-old Isaiah Joel Peoples purposefully crashed into seven pedestrians and a bicyclist because he thought at least of two of them were Muslim. Officials have not confirmed if any of the victims are actually Muslim. The district attorney has not filed hate crime charges against Peoples, but said they are prepared to if “the investigation yields enough evidence.” Peoples' attorney, Chuck Smith, claimed his client crashed into the crowd because he had “some mental disorder or mental defect.” Peoples appeared to have accelerated his car into the crowd of pedestrians on Tuesday night and crashed head-on into a tree, causing minor to severe injuries. One 13-year-old girl is reportedly in critical condition, in a coma, and has a broken pelvis. Others sustained injuries ranging from broken bones to scrapes.