A Pakistani Muslim kidnapped his girlfriend’s baby from an Upper Darby home and may have killed the 7-month-old and buried his body along a roadside in York. Ummad Rushdi, 30, has been charged with kidnapping and related offenses. The baby, Hamza Ali, hasn’t been found. According to law-enforcement, Rushdi is on the FBI’s terrorist-watch and no-fly lists.
PHILLY.comvia RefugeeResettlementWatch(h/t Monica J) The baby’s mother, Zainab Gaal, 20, who was born in Somalia and raised in Yemen, began dating Rushdi just three or four weeks ago, police said. Gaal and her son were already living with Rushdi and his brother at their home in York, police said.Authorities didn’t know when Gaal came to the United States (why not?), and did not know the whereabouts or identity of her child’s father.
Several days before the kidnapping, Rushdi allegedly hurt the baby’s shoulder, Chitwood said. Gaal wanted to take Hamza to the hospital because she feared his shoulder may have been broken, but Rushdi and his parents wanted to “self-medicate” the boy, Chitwood said.
On Sunday morning, Gaal and Rushdi’s family awoke to find Rushdi and Hamza missing, police said. Rushdi’s brother began to relay calls between Rushdi and Gaal, saying that the baby was fine and that Rushdi would return him to Upper Darby. In one conversation, Rushdi’s brother allegedly told Gaal that Rushdi was taking the baby to live with Gaal’s parents in Maine because the boy was “interfering” with the couple’s relationship, Chitwood said.
Finally on Tuesday, Rushdi’s brother told Gaal that Rushdi had awakened before everyone in the house in Upper Darby on Sunday and went into a room by himself with the baby, where he had “some type of interaction” that led to the child’s death. (SOME type of interaction? You mean like a murder?) Gaal called police about 8:30 p.m. that night.
“Rushdi did not want to share with the mother that the baby had diedbeen killed, so he drove the dead baby nearly 100 miles to a rural area off Route 30 near York, where his car was found abandoned by police. “We believe that Rushdi then buried the child somewhere up there,” Chitwood said.
Rushdi was arrested in York about 2:30 a.m. and was taken to Upper Darby to be arraigned on charges of kidnapping, reckless endangerment and related offenses. “He was planning to go to Canada or Mexico, because he knew he couldn’t fly,” the source said. Authorities found a knife, handcuffs and $800 in cash on Rushdi when he was arrested, police said.
It’s not clear when Rushdi came to this country from Rawalpindi, Pakistan, why he is allegedly on the watch list or how long he has lived in York (Ever think of calling the FBI? Duh).
Rushdi was arrested twice in the York suburb of Springettsbury, once in 2008 for driving without a license, accidents involving damage and resisting arrest, and again in 2011 for disorderly conduct and trespassing. He also was arrested in May 2012 in West Philadelphia after he got into a fight and allegedly threatened police officers who responded. When police told him and the other men to disperse, Rushdi allegedly refused and began to yell threats at the officers.
“He said, ‘You don’t want to f— with me’ then proceeded to say, ‘I will kill you and your family,’ ” Chitwood said, reading from the police report. While cops had him up against a wall trying to place him under arrest, Rushdi allegedly told another man who was there to remember the name of the arresting officer because “we (CAIR?) will take care of this,” Chitwood quoted Rushdi as saying.
Rushdi was charged with terroristic threats and disorderly conduct for the incident. According to court records, he represented himself at trial and was found guilty. He was ordered to serve a year of probation, police said.
Now, Rushdi sits in Delaware County Prison on kidnapping charges, held on $750,000 bail. He is not cooperating with authorities, police said. York police and the FBI spent yesterday searching for the tiny boy’s body to no avail.