NYC bike path terrorist gets 8 life sentences
The man convicted in a 2017 terror attack on a New York City bike path that killed eight people was given eight consecutive life sentences on Wednesday. Sayfullo Saipov will serve 260 years consecutive with two more life sentences to be served concurrently.
The now-35-year-old Uzbekistan citizen drove a rented 6,000-pound pickup truck along a popular bike path on the East Side Highway in 2017, running over cyclists. He struck more than 20 people, and the deceased victims included two Americans, a Belgian woman and five friends who had been visiting from Argentina.
The attack came to an end when he crashed into a school bus several blocks away from the start of the attack. The crash left one 14-year-old child with serious brain injuries, according to a news release from the U.S. Department of Justice.
Saipov said he had been inspired by ISIS and at trial, his lawyer told the jury Saipov had carried out the attack and never cross-examined any witnesses, CBS New York reported.
Prosecutors said at trial that Saipov told FBI agents that he was "proud" of what he did, and he carried out the attack in response to calls from the leader of ISIS, the Department of Justice said in the release. He smiled when he described the attack and wanted to hang an ISIS flag in his hospital room, the release said.
"These eight life sentences account for the eight lives Saipov stole when he committed his vicious ISIS attack," said Southern District of New York U.S. Attorney Damian Williams. The sentence includes the maximum time for 18 attempted murders including the attempted murders of four children, Williams said.
Saipov will most likely be incarcerated at the Administrative Maximum Facility in Florence, Colorado, Reuters reported, a supermax prison where he would be housed alongside some of the world's most notorious criminals — including drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman and Oklahoma City bombing conspirator Terry Nichols. Ted Kaczynski, the man known as the "Unabomber," had also been imprisoned there until being transferred to a North Carolina medical facility in 2021.
The Federal Bureau of Prisons told CBS News that Saipov was being housed at a federal facility in Brooklyn, New York, at the time of his sentencing. For safety reasons, the BOP wouldn't confirm when and to where Saipov would be transferred. A request for comment to Saipov's attorney, David Patton, wasn't immediately returned.
If Saipov is sent to the prison, known as ADX Florence and the "Alcatraz of the Rockies," he will join 316 male inmates at the secure facility where inhabitants have said they spend 22 to 23 hours a day in their cells. Former inmate Garrett Linderman spoke to "60 Minutes" in 2007 and said the isolation "breaks down the human spirit. It breaks down the human psyche. It breaks your mind."
Multiple lawsuits against ADX Florence have described a chaotic environment, with one June 2012 lawsuit stating inmates "interminably wail, scream and bang on the walls of their cells. Some mutilate their bodies with razors, shards of glass, writing utensils and whatever other objects they can obtain."
A 2017 lawsuit filed by Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, known as the "Underwear Bomber," said he's been harassed by guards and prisons for being Muslim. The lawsuit also states he went on hunger strikes and was force-fed non-halal food.
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