Man accused of attempted murder in the attack on Afghan

SALEM, Ore. – Muhammad Fawad Mohammadi survived the war in his native Afghanistan, where he served as an interpreter for the AMERICAN armed forces.

Now he is in a hospital, with a part of his leg amputated after a man in Oregon hit Mohammadi with his car and took him back.

Perry George Nicolopoulos was indicted late Thursday on 16 charges, including attempted murder, in the attack in Lincoln City, according to court records. Mohammadi wife and their year-old son narrowly escaped injury in the attack that shocked the coastal tourist city.

The police has found no evidence that Nicolopoulos, whose last known address was in Tacoma, Washington, committed a hate crime, said Lt. Jerry Palmer of the Lincoln City Police Department.

“We don’t know his mentality. We have no idea what his motives were, or his mental state, otherwise than that he was under the influence,” Palmer said. One of the costs Nicolopoulos is faced with drunk driving.

A group which monitors anti-Muslim discrimination and hate crimes, but pleads for a more in-depth research.

“Given the unprecedented rise in anti-Muslim hate incidents in the last few years … we urge law enforcement authorities to look into the possibility of a bias motive in this,” Ibrahim Hooper, spokesman for the Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations, said.

The attack happened on March 6 in the parking lot of a Walgreens pharmacy from the coastal Highway 101.

First, Nicolopoulos’ car hit Mohammadi the Toyota Prius. Mohammadi and his wife Nelab Sarabi got out to inspect the damage and exchange insurance information, leaving their son inside, when Nicolopoulos drove in their car, according to a statement.

This time Mohammadi was hit, and was pinned by Nicolopoulos’ car to his own car door. Nicolopoulos’ car flipped and crashed into the Prius again before driving off.

The police found Nicolopoulos’ number plate embedded in the Prius.

“We are used to seeing crashes, but for an individual, intentionally or unintentionally, for any reason, to decide to use his vehicle as a weapon makes everybody wonder what this person’s mindset was and what drove him to do this,” Palmer said.

Mohammadi, who was flown to a hospital in Portland, described his attacker.

“The airbag was in his face, but he was very relaxed. At that time, I thought, ‘This is an attack. It is not a coincidence,'” Mohammadi told the Lake Oswego Review, a newspaper in the Portland suburb where he works in a food market.

Doctors amputated Mohammadi the leg about 6 inches below the knee, according to a GoFundMe page, raising funds for the family. Friday, more than half of the $100,000 goal was raised. Many of the commenters thanks Mohammadi for his service in the United States and wished him a speedy recovery.

Nicolopoulos, 68, is in the county jail on $ 1 million bail. He is assigned a court-appointed lawyer, who did not respond to a call.

Nicolopoulos has plenty of run-ins with the law in the state of Washington, including a case in which he pled guilty to third degree assault in 2001 and another in which he pled guilty to malicious mischief in 1996.


AP reporter Phuong Le contributed to this report from Seattle.


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