SANDY SPRINGS, Ga. — An Atlanta attorney charged in the murder of a prominent real estate investor last month told police his alleged victim threw a golf ball at his Mercedes before the deadly encounter, a criminal complaint revealed.
Channel 2's Michael Seiden reviewed dozens of pages of court documents that provide new details about what police are calling an apparent road rage incident between Bryan Schmitt, 47, and Hamid Jahangard, 60.
Jahangard was pronounced dead Aug. 1, two days after he suffered multiple injuries.
The 46-page criminal complaint, filed in Fulton County, includes the statement Schmitt, an Atlanta attorney, gave police before they arrested and charged him with felony murder and aggravated assault Aug. 13.
"I was driving home northeast on River Valley. Around 5:15, a man was standing by (the) side of road next to trash cans. He made a throwing motion with his arm, and I saw a white object strike my car," Schmitt told detectives.
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Schmitt said he made a U-turn on River Valley Road and pulled into a driveway where he confronted Jahangard.
"I rolled down my (window) to ask why he'd throw something at my car. He yelled at me to ‘(expletive)! It's none of your business!'" Schmitt claimed, according to court documents.
"When I attempted to pull into the driveway he pushed a trash can at me. I swerved to right to miss it and ended up hitting a second trash can. When I came to stop, he was lying on the other side of the first trash can."
But in the days following the crash, surveillance footage and witness statements told a very different story.
The criminal complaint describes what a detective saw while reviewing footage from a neighbor's home security system:
"Victim walking down driveway, standing at the bottom to the right where the garbage can were. Bryan Schmitt drives by, as he passes the driveway, he hits his brake. Schmitt pulls back up and remains stationary for 25 seconds. Two cars pass him on the wrong side of the road and he quickly makes a left and starts to accelerate. You can't see impact. Victim Hamid (Jahangard) is slammed to the ground, head bounces twice off pavement and his body is rotating."
Another neighbor, who identified herself as a nurse, told police that she didn't see the crash but became very concerned when she saw the driver attempting to pull the victim's body out from underneath his car. She told him to stop and waited for paramedics to arrive, the complaint confirmed.
"She stated he was lying and that he did not knock him down. He ran over him," according to the complaint.
Court documents also confirmed Hamid was talking on the phone to his brother when the crash happened.
Manoucher Jahangard told detectives he heard his brother say, "I did not throw anything! I did not throw anything! Get out of my face," before the line went dead, according to investigators.
Manoucher Jahangard said he "feared the worst" and drove to the scene in the 300 block of River Valley Road. He also told police Hamid Jahangard was waiting on painters to meet him at one of his rental properties when the incident happened, court documents confirmed.
The day after Hamid Jahangard's death, investigators served a search warrant at Schmitt's home, where they seized his cellphone. They also informed him Hamid Jahangard had died at a local hospital.
Court documents said detectives were standing in Schmitt's kitchen when they broke the news to him.
"You all sure picked a fine time for this," responded Schmitt after detectives asked him for his cellphone.
"Yes, we sure did. The victim was taken off life support yesterday (Aug. 1) and is dead," the officer replied.
Schmitt began to shake, according to the complaint.
The medical examiner said Hamid Jahangard's cause of death was "blunt force injury of the head." The report also ruled his death a homicide.
According to court records, when Hamid Jahangard arrived at the hospital, doctors discovered a massive skull fracture, swelling on his brain and multiple leg fractures.
Schmitt showed up Aug. 12 with his attorneys to the Sandy Springs Police Department, where he surrendered on murder charges. He's currently being held without bond.
Channel 2 Action News reached out to Schmitt's attorney, Don Samuel, but he hasn't responded to our requests via email and phone.
According to the incident report, police recovered a golf ball at the scene but no one other than Schmitt accused the victim of throwing it.
Hamid Jahangard, a native of Iran and father of two daughters, graduated from Walton High School in Cobb County and from Georgia Tech.
Cox Media Group