PLEASANTON – A bullet allegedly fired last week by San Ramon teen Antonio Faraz Rad came inches away from killing a man, police say.
Rad, 19, is due in court again in a week to enter a plea to charges of attempted murder and robbery.
Police say the Diablo Valley College student robbed someone of two iPods and shot at him twice. Both bullets missed, and the victim, 23-year-old Fremont resident Esmatullah Baber, is unhurt.
Rad appeared in court Thursday this week, when a judge postponed arraignment to give attorneys more time to review the case.
Rad's Aug. 19 arrest wasn't his first brush with the law.
Though he has yet to enter a plea, Rad faces a previous charge of felony vandalism for allegedly smashing up an Escalade with a couple of friends on his 18th birthday–Jan. 14 last year.
Authorities say Rad caused $23,000 worth in damage to the luxury SUV, in part by standing on the hood of the car and hurling rocks at the windshield. He also sprayed graffiti on the car, which was parked behind a business on Main Street in Pleasanton, police say.
One of the two teens with Rad that night was a minor. Both waived their Miranda rights and told police Rad was responsible for the bulk of the damage.
Rad's father–Pleasanton-based lawyer Peyman Rad–told a Patch reporter earlier in the week that he believes his son isn't as guilty as police say and that "there's more to the story," though he declined to elaborate.
Rad spent a day in the Santa Rita Jail for the alleged vandalism in early 2009 before his father paid $2,000 to post bail for his son, court records say. Pleasanton Superior Court Judge Hugh Walker on Monday blasted Rad's father for bailing the teen out in February 2009 and said that to post bail–set at $510,000–this time would be a huge mistake.
Rad has been at the Santa Rita Jail in Dublin since his recent arrest.
Police say Rad set up a meeting with Baber to buy a couple iPods from him at the Rosewood Pavilion in Pleasanton when Rad turned the deal into a robbery at gunpoint.
"Rad agreed to buy both iPods," wrote Pleasanton Police Officer Jerry Niceley in a statement of probable cause. "When Baber returned to the vehicle that Rad had arrived in, Rad produced a pistol in his right hand and told Baber to, 'drop that shi--.' Baber dropped one iPod on the ground and raised his hands in the air."
"Baber told Rad that the other iPod was in his pocket. When Baber reached for the second iPod, Rad fired a single gunshot as the gun was pointed at Baber's face. Baber said he heard the bullet fly past his left ear. Baber turned and fled from Rad. Rad the fired a second shot as Baber fled."
Some who knew Rad described him as leading a double life: Putting on a clean front for his family, but living a wannabe thug life with his friends.
Others said he was a good kid, who just started hanging out with the wrong crowd.
"I always liked Faraz," said a commenter on Patch identified only as B.C. "Yes, he had an 'Eddie Haskell' way about him–extremely respectful of parents and always on his best behavior in their presence. And I will admit my son did seem to get in trouble when they hung out in the middle school and early high school years. He was a genuinely loyal friend, though."
The teen lived a double life, hiding his antics from his family to keep up his reputation at home, B.C. said.
"I'd like to see him get real help–intense family therapy, especially for the father, whose denial has only compounded Faraz's problems," she wrote.
Nineteen-year-old Jordan Huff, in an e-mail to Patch this week, said Rad's dad, "always tries to come to the rescue and save (him)."