Man who shot Alexan­dria po­lice of­fi­cer in 2013 re­leased from state men­tal hos­pi­tal

Richmond Times-Dispatch Weekend - - LOCAL PERSPECTIVES - BY PA­TRI­CIA SUL­LI­VAN

ALEXAN­DRIA — The for­mer cab­driver who stalked a young woman, shot an Alexan­dria mo­tor­cy­cle po­lice of­fi­cer and led au­thor­i­ties on a 100 mph chase into Fair­fax County five years ago was or­dered re­leased from the state men­tal hos­pi­tal Thurs­day af­ter a judge deter­mined he was no longer a dan­ger to the com­mu­nity.

Alexan­dria Cir­cuit

Judge James C. Clark de­cided, af­ter a 3½-hour hear­ing, that Kashif Bashir, who had been found not guilty by rea­son of in­san­ity in 2014, could live on his own. But the judge im­posed nu­mer­ous con­di­tions in­clud­ing re­quir­ing that Bashir stay on his an­tipsy­chotic med­i­ca­tion, see a team of ther­a­pists three times a week, not own or op­er­ate a mo­tor ve­hi­cle, and re­main within 50 miles of his Wood­bridge apart­ment.

“I don’t care what’s best for Mr. Bashir, I only care that the com­mu­nity is pro­tected,” Clark warned the slight 32-year-old who hunched over the de­fense ta­ble. “Mr. Bashir, all you’ve got to do is mess up once and I guar­an­tee you, you will be back in this court and you will not leave by the same door you’re us­ing to­day.”

In the front row of the court­room sat Peter Laboy, the for­mer po­lice of­fi­cer who suf­fered a trau­matic brain in­jury on Feb. 27, 2013, when he at­tempted to stop Bashir’s taxi. Af­ter mul­ti­ple surg­eries, Laboy sur­vived, but he is un­able to re­turn to po­lice work or ride his mo­tor­cy­cle, and his mar­riage fell apart.

Bashir had been stalk­ing a young woman with the in­ten­tion of rap­ing her, but when the shop owner where she worked told a po­lice of­fi­cer of the threat, Bashir took off in his cab. Laboy re­sponded to a ra­dio call for help and en­coun­tered Bashir near an el­e­men­tary school. He was shot in the head be­fore he could com­pletely dis­mount from his mo­tor­cy­cle. Bashir was caught sev­eral miles away, af­ter crash­ing into an­other ve­hi­cle.

“The more re­stric­tions, the bet­ter,” Laboy said af­ter the hear­ing. “I’m con­cerned about my fam­ily, me, all the of­fi­cers. I can’t re­ally for­get about that . ... I can­not tell you that it’s fair. What hap­pened to me, what hap­pened to my fam­ily, I’m still go­ing to treat­ment two times, three times a week, I still take med­i­ca­tion to con­trol my seizures. Yes­ter­day, my doc­tor said ... you’ve got to take it for­ever.”

Af­ter his ar­rest, Bashir told au­thor­i­ties that he was obey­ing voices in his head that told him to rape a woman and shoot a po­lice of­fi­cer.

He was di­ag­nosed with paranoid schizophre­nia and sub­stance abuse and has been treated at men­tal health fa­cil­i­ties. A se­ries of psy­chi­a­trists, psy­chol­o­gists and men­tal health work­ers tes­ti­fied Thurs­day that once Bashir was on an­tipsy­chotic med­i­ca­tion, his symp­toms dis­ap­peared.

There are 278 peo­ple in Vir­ginia hos­pi­tals who have been found not guilty by rea­son of in­san­ity, and 292 are on court-or­dered con­di­tional re­lease plans, ac­cord­ing to the Vir­ginia Depart­ment of Be­hav­ioral Health and De­vel­op­men­tal Ser­vices.

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