The 33-year-old driver who is now charged with ramming his Cutlass into a Walmart on Easter in San Jose and attacking people has a prior criminal past, including a time when he was arrested for driving a car into a gas station.
The 33-year-old driver who is now charged with ramming his Cutlass into a Walmart on Easter in San Jose and attacking people has a prior criminal past, including a time when he was arrested for driving a car into a car wash (exclusive video below) and smashing a chair through a Santana Row pub.
In court records reviewed by NBC Bay Area on Tuesday, Haamid Zaid of Seaside had five court cases in Santa Clara County, which show a pattern of drug use, paranoia and violence.
Those past cases, some of which are currently pending, are separate from the new charges he faces stemming from the Sunday attack at the Walmart at 777 Story Road. He is expected to appear in court on Thursday afternoon to be arraigned on four counts of assault with a deadly weapon, one misdemeanor count of hit and run, being under the influence of drugs and resisting arrest regarding the Walmart rampage.
Zaid has declined a jail house interview, and his lawyer, Jeffrey Kaloustian, told NBC Bay Area in a phone interview on Tuesday that his client had been court-ordered to attend a substance abuse program sometime in the past, but he would not elaborate.
Kaloustian said the current gas station case is still active, and he also declined to go into detail about the past case or the current one. He said he hasn't had time to talk to Zaid about the Walmart attack and did not have any sense at this point whether Zaid was feeling a sense of "remorse."
The past cases were mostly misdemeanor charges that included being under-the-influence and driving with a suspended license from 2011 and 2012.
But in a case from December of 2012, Zaid was charged with having a felony amount of methamphetamine and for causing property damage when he plowed a 2004 silver Lexus into Capitol Premier Car Wash on West Capitol Expressway in San Jose. The car crashed through double-pane glass into the store, destroying several food and beverage stands, and nearly missing two employees, records show. Owner Chuck Brassfield said it was lucky no one was hurt and he was floored when he learned that the same driver was now accused of the Walmart rampage.
He told the officer at the time, court records show, that he had "snorted meth" that day and thought people were out to shoot him.
In October of that same year, Zaid was charged with property destruction when he threw a chair through a window of Rosie McCann's Irish Pub and Restaurant in Santana Row while high on cocaine.
Zaid's mother, Rosemary Zaid, told NBC Bay Area on Monday that her son had no criminal record and that he was an "excellent" student at Seaside High School, where he attended before moving to San Jose, where she said he had automotive companies. NBC Bay Area did not immediately find a record of those companies.
The story has made national news, in large part because of the brazen attack on Easter and in part because of the cell phone video taken by customers inside the store. NBC Bay Area obtained some of that video that showed a wild and hectic scene inside the store.