|For Immediate Release
March 28, 2007
DRIVER FACES ATTEMPTED MURDER TRIAL FOR RUNNING DOWN FATHER OF THREE IN PARKING LOT
SANTA ANA – A Costa Mesa man will face trial for intentionally running down a husband and father of three children after being told to slow down in an Aliso Viejo parking lot. Morteza Bakhtiari, 27, is charged with attempted murder, two counts of aggravated assault, hit and run with injury, hit and run with property damage, falsely reporting a crime, and a sentencing enhancement for causing brain injury and paralysis. If convicted, he faces a sentence ranging from probation to life with the possibility of parole. Opening statements are scheduled to begin tomorrow, Thursday, March 29, 2007 at 10:00 a.m. in Department C-45, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana.
On January 19, 2006, at approximately 11:30 p.m., John Royston was standing in an Aliso Viejo parking lot with two friends. Bakhtiari is accused of driving through the parking lot in his silver BMW with a passenger heading to Opah Restaurant and Bar. When the victim shouted to Bakhtiari to slow down, the defendant is accused speeding up and erratically driving through the parking lot. He is accused of hitting a parked Mercedes Benz with his car before aiming his BMW at the victim and deliberately running him over, and then fleeing the scene. The victim suffered permanent injuries.
On January 20, 2006, the defendant is accused of contacting the Costa Mesa Police Department and falsely reporting that his car had been stolen. He was arrested later that day.
Senior Deputy District Attorney Scott Simmons is prosecuting this case.