SAN JOSE -- The man accused of driving into an East San Jose Wal-Mart store and attacking shoppers last weekend had a strikingly similar incident in December when he crashed into a San Jose gas station while allegedly high on meth, court documents reveal.
Haamid Ade Zaid, 33, described by police as a Seaside resident but who has more recent ties to San Jose, was being prosecuted for a string of other allegedly drug-fueled crimes in Santa Clara County's drug court at the time his crash into the Wal-Mart grabbed national headlines.
Zaid is scheduled to be arraigned Thursday in connection with the melee Easter morning when, while reportedly high on drugs, police said he attacked four people with a blunt object inside the Story Road store.
His previous scrapes with the law include an October arrest after he allegedly threw a chair through a window of a Santana Row pub while allegedly high on cocaine, according to court records. That was preceded by an incident from two years ago when, while allegedly high on meth, he called police to report a burglary at his San Jose home. But according to court records, Zaid was experiencing a bout of drug-induced paranoia that resulted in his arrest on multiple drug charges including illegally growing marijuana.
Attorney Jeffrey L. Kaloustian represents Zaid in the pending cases and said it is likely, but not certain, that he will also take on the Wal-Mart case. He declined to comment on his client's legal troubles.
"There's nothing I want to say about that," Kaloustian said.
Meanwhile, Zaid remains in Santa Clara County Jail on $200,000 bail after he was booked on multiple felony counts of assault, hit and run, being under the influence of illegal drugs, and resisting arrest for the Sunday incident. All of the victims are expected to recover.
Zaid, who according to police reports is a mechanic, has been involved in other incidents that authorities say were fueled by drug use.
According to police reports, on Dec. 16 Zaid was driving a black Lexus sedan near Meridian and Hillsdale avenues when he ran a red light, broadsided a vehicle and kept driving down West Capitol Expressway until he reached a Chevron station near the Highway 87 overpass. Police say he lost control while trying to turn into the station and "crashed through double pain (sic) glass door," destroying several merchandise stands inside. Miraculously, no one was injured.
Officers at the scene found a "pink crystal" substance on Zaid and later a plastic bag filled with it. According to the report, Zaid admitted to "snorting meth" earlier in the day.
The crash paralleled the start of what happened at Walmart, where police and witnesses say Zaid was speeding his Cutlass Salon in the parking lot and pinballed off two cars before plowing through the front of the store. But Sunday's incident veered when after crashing, Zaid reportedly got out of his wrecked car, picked up a nearby object some described as a metal bar, and started hitting patrons. An employee approached him and pleaded with him to stop, and Zaid instead clubbed him in the head, police said, causing him to be hospitalized.
Zaid was stopped when onlookers tackled him and held him down until police arrived.
On Oct. 10, police were called to Rosie McCann's Irish Pub in Santana Row after witnesses reported that Zaid threw a chair through a window and ran away. When police caught up to him, reports say, he "said he was going for a jog."
Zaid has also faced a string of misdemeanor charges encompassing illegal drug use and traffic infractions like driving on a suspended license.
Two cases about 18 months apart illustrate how Zaid's purported meth abuse made him susceptible to erratic behavior and paranoid delusions. On July 8, 2011, he called police to his Laurelei Avenue home to report burglars inside. Officers found no evidence of a break-in but did find an illegal marijuana grow, and after continuing to insist that the burglary happened and later saying that he had been set up, he was arrested and eventually charged with being under the influence of narcotics.
On Jan. 21 he again called police and claimed people were breaking into his house, according to police reports. Officers say Zaid shuffled around the house, hardly acknowledging their presence.
When the officers tried to restrain him to perform a search, he broke away and ran around. He soon gave up and he was placed in a patrol car on suspicion of resisting arrest and being under the influence.
"I asked the suspect if he smoked anything today," Officer Christopher Proft wrote in his report. "The suspect said, 'Meth.' "
Contact Robert Salonga at 408-920-5002. Follow him at Twitter.com/robertsalonga.