|For Immediate Release
Case # 06HF0144
June 18, 2007
Susan Kang Schroeder
Public Affairs Counsel
PARKING LOT ROAD RAGE DRIVER GETS 15 YEARS
IN PRISON FOR ATTEMPTING TO MURDER
FATHER OF THREE
SANTA ANA – A Costa Mesa man was sentenced today to 15 years in prison 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, was convicted April 23, 2007 of attempted murder, two counts of aggravated assault, hit and run with injury, hit and run with property damage, falsely reporting a crime. The jury also found true that Bakhtiari caused the victim’s brain injury and paralysis.
On January 19, 2006, at approximately 11:30 p.m., John Royston was standing in an Aliso Viejo parking lot with two friends. Bakhtiari was driving through the 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 sped up and erratically drove through the parking lot, hitting a parked Mercedes Benz with his car before aiming his BMW at the victim. Bakhtiari deliberately ran over Royston and then fled the scene. The victim suffered permanent injuries.
On January 20, 2006, the defendant contacted the Costa Mesa Police Department and falsely reported that his car had been stolen. He was arrested later that day.
Senior Deputy District Attorney Scott Simmons prosecuted this case.