By Mike Jachles, PIO
Broward County (FL) Sheriff’s Office
BROWARD CO., Fla. — Monday evening Broward County Sheriff Ken Jenne announced the capture of a man, Abdelaziz Hamze, wanted for the brutal dragging death of a Ft. Lauderdale woman.
On the night of June 3, 2007, what began as a minor vehicle crash ended up costing a Ft. Lauderdale woman her life as she tried to stop a fleeing driver. A bizarre series of events can only begin to describe what happened as a man drove a minivan through the streets of central Broward County with the woman on top of the hood, then underneath the vehicle for several miles, as she was dragged to her death.
Broward Sheriff Ken Jenne announces the capture of Abdelaziz Bilal Hamze at a press conference June 4. Hamze was caught while trying to flee the country following the murder of a 44 year-old Ft. Lauderdale woman. (Mike Jachles/Broward Sheriff’s Office)
“This was a brutal, senseless road-rage killing,” said Broward Sheriff Ken Jenne. “Abdelaziz Hamze’s complete disregard for human life should outrage anyone in this community. His capture will ensure that he will pay for his brutality.”
Twenty-four-year-old Abdelaziz Bilal Hamze was pulled from an Athens-bound Delta flight at New York’s John F. Kennedy airport around 4:20 p.m., Monday afternoon.
His capture was the result of a joint effort by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the NY/NJ Port Authority Police. The three agencies worked together to identify Hamze and take him into custody.
It is believed Hamze purchased his ticket to Greece following the murder. Athens is a common connecting point for flights to Lebanon, where Hamze is originally from.
Abdelaziz Bilal Hamze
Around 10:00 p.m. Sunday evening, a man and woman were driving a Cadillac Escalade near Ft. Lauderdale when they were rear-ended by a minivan driven by Hamze. Hamze fled the crash scene in the 1999 Dodge Caravan and the Cadillac followed.
The vehicles wound through neighborhood streets and busy State Road 7. When the vehicles reached the 4100 block of North S.R. 7 in the city of Lauderdale Lakes, heavy traffic allowed the Cadillac’s occupants to exit the car. They approached the minivan, and forty-four-year-old Sandra Hall tried to stop the minivan from fleeing by standing in front of it. Hamze sped off, hitting Hall and tossing her onto the hood.
As the minivan continued north, with Hall’s fiancee following in the Cadillac, Hall fell off the hood and became lodged underneath the minivan. Continuing north for several miles, Hall was dragged at speeds of up to 70 miles per hour until she fell from the undercarriage of the minivan onto the roadway in the city of North Lauderdale. Sandra Hall was pronounced dead at the scene. The minivan was last seen fleeing Sunday evening in the Pompano Beach area.
Broward Sheriff’s Office detectives identified Hamze after a man called the agency, and told investigators he had been contacted by Hamze. The caller said that several months ago he sold Hamze the 1999 Dodge minivan involved in the incident, and that Hamze had contacted him after the murder. In addition, a witness (the victim’s fiancée, who was in the Cadillac with her) identified Hamze from a photo line-up.
The minivan believed to have been used in the incident was found at a Dania Beach residence where Hamze was living. A significant amount of blood and tissue evidence was found on the van. Following the identification of Hamze as a suspect, BSO detectives learned he had a valid U.S. passport and contacted federal authorities and requested his name be flagged if he attempted to leave the country. That notification is what led to the stop in New York. BSO homicide detectives went to New York City on June 4th to interview Hamze.
Hamze was returned to Florida and charged with premeditated murder. He is being held in the Broward County Main Jail in Ft. Lauderdale without bond.