Terror Suspect Sayfullo Saipov Passed Uber Background Check, Drove for 6 Months

NEW YORK (AP) — The man who police say transformed a New York City bike path into a terror scene was an Uzbekistan native who made 1,400 trips as an Uber driver and formed two commercial truck businesses.

A family friend called Sayfullo Saipov hard-working and neighbors said he would play with the children in a Florida apartment complex. President Trump derided the suspect as “sick and deranged.”

Details of the life of the suspect — who had connections to many places across the U.S. but no known social media accounts — have begun to emerge after Tuesday’s attack that killed eight people and injured at least 11.

Here’s what is known so far:

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A YOUNG IMMIGRANT

Officials who were not authorized to discuss the investigation and spoke on the condition of anonymity identified Saipov as the attacker and said he is 29 and originally from Uzbekistan.

He came to the U.S. legally in 2010, the officials said, and acquaintances said he lived first in Ohio after his arrival.

Dilnoza Abdusamatova, said Saipov briefly stayed with his family in a Cincinnati suburb upon immigrating.

“He always used to work,” Abdusamatova told The Cincinnati Enquirer. “He wouldn’t go to parties or anything. He only used to come home and rest and leave and go back to work.”

A man in a rented pickup truck mowed down pedestrians and cyclists along a busy bike path near the World Trade Center memorial on Tuesday, killing at least eight and seriously injuring 11 in what the mayor called “a particularly cowardly act of terror”. (Nov. 1)

A marriage license filed in Summit County, Ohio, lists a man by the name of Sayfulloh Saipov marrying Nozima Odilova on April 12, 2013. It said the couple were living in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, at the time.

The license listed Saipov as a truck driver. His wife is about six years younger. Both listed Tashkent, Uzbekistan, as their hometown.

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FLORIDA

Authorities said Saipov had a Florida driver’s license and some public records showed an address for him at a Tampa apartment complex.

Residents at that complex said FBI agents came by Tuesday evening and conducted interviews.

Michael Roberts, 30, an overnight shift worker, said he was asleep when the agents showed up at about 5:30 p.m. but that they interviewed his cousin. He said both he and his cousin had moved in only a week ago and had never heard of Saipov.

A friend who met Saipov in Florida, Kobiljon Matkarov, told The New York Times and the New York Post that he seemed like a “very good guy.”

“My kids like him too. He is always playing with them,” Matkarov told the Post.

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NEW JERSEY

Officials said Saipov was living recently in New Jersey, where he allegedly rented a Home Depot pickup truck an hour before driving it onto the bike path.

On Tuesday night, police investigating the deadly rampage surrounded a white Toyota minivan with Florida plates parked in the parking lot of a Home Depot in Passaic, New Jersey.

The van was parked near the company’s rental trucks

A police officer stands near a vehicle, left, inside a perimeter in the parking lot of a Home Depot store, Tuesday, Oct. 31, 2017, in Passaic, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

Law enforcement cordoned off an apartment building in Paterson, New Jersey, early Wednesday. Officers also searched a garage. The building’s manager told The Record newspaper that Saipov lived with his wife and two children in a two-bedroom apartment.

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UBER DRIVER

The ride-hailing company Uber said Saipov passed its background check and drove for the service for six months, making more than 1,400 trips.

The company said it was in touch with the FBI and offered its assistance and that it was reviewing Saipov’s driving history but found no related safety reports.

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COMMERCIAL TRUCK DRIVER

Records show Saipov was a commercial truck driver who formed a pair of businesses in Ohio.

The first business, Sayf Motors Inc., used the address of a family friend near Cincinnati with whom Saipov had stayed for a couple of weeks after his arrival in the country.

The second, Bright Auto LLC, used an address near Cleveland.

A trucking industry website listed Saipov at a Paterson, New Jersey, address that authorities were searching Tuesday night. Court records related to trucking-related infractions list Saipov with addresses in Paterson and the Cleveland suburbs.

According to the records, Saipov was ticketed for not having the right brakes on his vehicle in Platte County, Missouri, near Kansas City in late 2015. A warrant was issued for Saipov’s arrest in April 2016 when he missed a hearing on the case. He resolved it in November 2016 by pleading guilty and paying $200 in fines and court costs.


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