Bond reduction denied for Stamford man charged with drunk driving in serious accident
STAMFORD — A Stamford judge this week refused to lower the bond of a young city man charged with seriously injuring three people in a drunk driving crash on Hope Street in June.
Sarmad Hussain, 22, of Caldwell Avenue, appeared on video from the Stamford courthouse lockup Wednesday while his attorney appeared from a first-floor courtroom and Judge Bruce Hudock from a courtroom on the fourth floor of the courthouse.
Hussain had been held overnight on a $100,000 bond after turning himself into police, having been charged in an 11-page arrest affidavit with drunk driving, reckless operation of a motor vehicle and three counts of second-degree assault with a motor vehicle. The accident was under investigation for over a month before the arrest was made.
His attorney arguing for a lower bond, David Marantz, told the judge that his client was a lifelong Stamford resident and a Westhill High School graduate who has never been in trouble with the law before.
Marantz argued that while this incident was bad, it was not a violent one and his client had spent the previous night in jail.
“The situation, from what I understand, was he was at a party with some college kids and it was really out of character for him to ever drink and he made the mistake of drinking that night and lost control of his car,” Marantz said.
Marantz then asked Hudock to substantially cut the bond and said his client would comply with the conditions of his release that include no driving whatsoever.
“I do note some very serious injuries to three pedestrians. The bond will remain as set,” Hudock said as he entered not guilty pleas on Hussain’s behalf.
Hussain’s parents posted bond following the hearing and he was released.
According to the arrest affidavit, police were called to the 600 block of Hope Street on June 20 on the report of a car running off the road, striking a pole and hitting three pedestrians in the front yard of a residence.
Officers arrived to an extremely chaotic, loud and crowded scene, with a black Toyota Avalon in the front yard of a Hope Street address. One person was found lying face up on the driveway, covered in blood with his limbs “misconfigured” slipping in and out of consciousness, the affidavit said.
The second victim, a woman, was lying in the grass, mouth full of blood and fading in and out of consciousness. A third was pacing back and fourth in the yard with injuries to his teeth and cuts to his arms and legs, the affidavit said.
Bystanders pointed out Hussain and police officers went to escort him out of the front yard, and while doing so “reported smelling an extremely strong odor of alcoholic beverage emanating” from him, according to the affidavit.
One witness told police that as she was driving southbound on Hope the black Toyota “flew” past her on the left and crashed less than a mile down the road. She called 911 and her boyfriend began giving CPR to one of the victims, the affidavit said.
One of those injured said the three were having a small get together in the front yard and were just cleaning up when they heard tires screeching and the next thing they knew a car came through the bushes and struck them, the affidavit said.
The two people police found on the ground ended up in the intensive care unit, one with fractures to multiple ribs, multiple cuts, a spleen laceration, a pulmonary contusion and and open ankle fracture; the other with injuries to her jaw involving a mandible fracture and a pulmonary contusion, the affidavit said.
The third victim was treated and released, though with multiple injuries, the affidavit said.
The Toyota’s software allowed police to see what was happening to the vehicle for five seconds before impact with the telephone pole, the affidavit said. Police determined that the Toyota was going 87 mph.
According to the affidavit, a search warrant executed to obtain Hussain’s blood revealed that he had a .014 blood alcohol concentration, nearly twice the legal limit of under .08.