Mental problems apparent in cyclist hit-and-runs

June 8, 2010 11:56:03 AM PDT
The man accused of running down four bicyclists in San Francisco last Wednesday made his first court appearance Tuesday.

As police continue trying to figure out a motive in the case, even suspect David Clark's attorney admits the suspect, David Clark, appears to have mental problems.

A judge has ordered Clark held without bail. He is charged with four counts of attempted murder for allegedly running down four people while they were on their bikes in the Mission and Potrero Hill Districts.

Everything happened in just minutes. Three of the victims were transported to a hospital.

Clark, of Albany, California, is a former tennis instructor and a self-styled "healer crystal therapist." He did not enter a plea Tuesday so his defense attorney could get up to speed on the case. He says his client's mental problems are hard to miss.

"It was obvious enough to the police that they brought him to a psychiatric facility before they brought him to a jail," defense attorney Brendan Conroy said. "So, if it was obvious to the police, it should be obvious to me."

"It's very serious," said prosecutor Elliot Beckelman. "It is attempted murder and you have somebody who used a deadly weapon, a car, it was a very purposeful action, very intentional action that will be coming out. So, we regard this as serious as any other crime where a serious, deadly weapon was used."

Conroy says Clark's mental state will probably be a factor in the trial. He plans on ordering a psychological evaluation. Prosecutors say they plan to ask for $4 million bail, $1 million for each count of attempted murder.

Clark is scheduled to be back in court on June 17.


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