Hit-and-run driver charged for murder

The driver allegedly ran down a group of pedestrians with his car after a fight at a Dinkytown bar.

Luke Feuerherm

A Roseville, Minn., man was charged with intentional second-degree murder Monday in the April 15 hit-and-run that killed University of Minnesota student Ben Van Handel and injured two others.
According to a criminal complaint, Timothy Ayman Bakdash, 29, purposefully ran down the group of students, thinking it was the same group he had gotten into a fight with at the Library Bar and Grill earlier that night.
Bakdash allegedly confessed his crime to the man to whom he sold his dented Mitsubishi Galant.
The man, referred to as B.B. in the complaint, said Bakdash told him he âÄúhad no remorse.âÄù
Bakdash was charged with second-degree intentional murder and two counts of second-degree assault for injuries to Sarah Bagley, 22, and Katelynn Hanson, 21. The Hennepin County AttorneyâÄôs office said it could be bumped up to a first-degree murder charge, for which he could face life in prison with no parole.
Bakdash is currently in Hennepin County jail with bail set at $1 million. His first court appearance will be Tuesday afternoon.
B.B. bought the Galant, with a smashed windshield and dents, for $1,500 the same day as the accident and said he overheard Bakdash talking to his mother, Diane Bakdash, who told her son to âÄúget rid of that car that night.âÄù
Minneapolis police had been looking for a white Toyota, built in the early 2000s, with front-end damage.
During the sale, Bakdash allegedly told B.B. that he had gotten into an altercation with a group of men and women after having âÄúquite a few drinksâÄù at the Library Bar in Dinkytown. The fight continued outside with one of the men, according to the complaint.
After the man eventually walked away, Bakdash got into his car and headed the wrong way down 5th Street Southeast, where he is said to have mistaken two separate groups of students for the crowd he was fighting with at the bar.
According to the complaint, Bakdash was traveling between 30 and 60 mph.
Van Handel, 23, died April 21 after he was taken off life support. He had been in a coma for five days from blunt force trauma after being thrown into a light post during the incident.
Bagley and Hanson, both students, were also injured in the crash and initially knocked unconscious, but suffered non-life threatening injuries. At the scene of the incident, Bagley told paramedics she couldnâÄôt feel her legs. At the time the complaint was filed, she couldnâÄôt walk.
âÄúIâÄôm definitely thrilled that they have someone in custody,âÄù said Bagley. âÄúThe detectives are doing such a great job. I just hope we get some justice for Benjamin.âÄù
Bakdash told B.B. that he intended to hit three of the pedestrians but ran into a fourth by mistake, according to the complaint. It isnâÄôt clear which pedestrians he intended to hit.
Bagley said she had not been in any altercation that night and she and her friends were never at the Library Bar.
According to the complaint, Van Handel was at the Kitty Cat Klub with friends before walking Leslie Falk home down 5th Street.