ATLANTA — An Atlanta attorney faces a murder charge after striking a 60-year-old man with his car, the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office said Friday.
Bryan Schmitt, 48, purposely steered his car into Hamid Jahangard, who died two days later, according to the affidavit for Schmitt’s arrest.
The trigger for Schmitt’s alleged road rage?
The lawyer believed Jahangard, a real estate investor, had thrown a golf ball at his 2011 Mercedes CLS550, according to the police.
In addition to a murder charge, Schmitt faces felony murder and aggravated assault charges, the DA’s office stated.
Schmitt will plead not guilty when he is arraigned Thursday, his attorney, Don Samuel, told CNN.
The fatal incident occurred during the evening of July 30 in the driveway of a rental property owned by Jahangard in the Atlanta suburb of Sandy Springs, authorities said. Jahangard was waiting for painters to arrive.
In a statement included in the police reports, Schmitt, a Sandy Springs resident, told officers he was driving home around 5:15 p.m. and saw a man standing by the side of the road next to trash cans.
“He made a throwing motion with his arm, and I saw a white object strike my car,” Schmitt told detectives.
Schmitt said he made a U-turn and drove up to the man.
“I rolled down my window to ask why he’d throw something at my car. He yelled at me to ‘(expletive)! It’s none of your business!'” Schmitt said. “When I attempted to pull into the driveway he pushed a trash can at me. I swerved to right to miss it & ended up hitting a second trash can. When I came to stop he was lying on (the) other side of (the) first trash can.”
Investigating officers found a golf ball across the street from where Jahangard was struck.
Victim was on the phone with his brother
A review of footage from a neighbor’s home security system showed Jahangard walking down the driveway and standing at the bottom near the garbage cans, a detective wrote in a supplemental report to the criminal complaint. Schmitt drove by, braked, backed up and remained stationery for about 25 seconds before making a left turn and accelerating, the detective wrote.
“You cannot see impact,” the detective wrote. “Victim Hamid (Jahangard) is slammed to the ground, head bounces twice off pavement and his body is rotating,” the detective wrote.
“You can now also see a golf ball slowly roll down the driveway … and roll into the flower garden,” the detective wrote.
A service vehicle came upon the scene as it was happening, and police were able to review surveillance footage captured from the vehicle. That footage did “not match” the account that Schmitt gave to authorities, police say.
The police report said, “The speed used to vault the garbage can, lift the front end of his car up and to slam the victim down so hard it causes a massive skull fracture where blood is squirting out his ears seconds after impact is not an accident.”
Jahangard’s brother, Manoucher Jahangard, told police they were talking on the phone when the crash happened. Manoucher Jahangard said he heard his brother say, “I did not throw anything. I did not throw anything, get out of my face,” before the line went dead, another supplemental report says.
A doctor said Jahangard arrived at the hospital with a massive skull fracture, swelling on his brain and multiple leg fractures, according to the court file.
Jahangard, a native of Iran, graduated from Walton High School in Cobb County and then Georgia Tech, according to the DA’s office. He is survived by two daughters. Last year, his daughters lost their mother to breast cancer, according to a GoFundMe page created on behalf of the daughters.
After a magistrate issued warrants, Schmitt turned himself into police August 12.