A University of California at Berkeley student is missing in Nice after Mohamed Bouhlel killed 84 people in a truck attack on Bastille Day. The Wall Street Journal reports that Nick Leslie’s family have been traveling to the city’s hospitals in the search for the missing 20-year-old. Leslie is a native of Milan, Italy, but lives in Del Mar, California, according to his Facebook page.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. A Friend Says He Saw Leslie ‘Bolting’ Through the Streets After the Attack
According to the Daily Beast, “a friend of Leslie’s said he saw the 20-year old bolting off through the streets of Old Nice.” His aunt told the website that Leslie never returned to his student accommodation after the attack.
NBC Bay Area reports that Leslie, a student at the University of California in Berkeley, is studying abroad.
A Facebook post from one of Leslie’s friends, Jamie Ferrell, states while friends and family are worried about the missing man, “He was not injured during the attack but we have not heard from him since then.”
2. The University of California Is Involved in the Search for Leslie
UC’s Executive Director of Communications Roqua Montez told CNN that the school is “assisting in the investigation as we speak.” The Wall Street Journal’s piece on Leslie notes that the missing student’s uncle, Fabio Bottoni, “reportedly gone from local hospital to hospital searching for information about the missing nephew.”
3. Leslie Is an Accomplished Kite Surfer & Scuba Diver
Leslie is an accomplished kitesurfer and scuba diver, according to his Facebook page. He’s a native of Milan in Italy but now lives in Del Mar, California. Leslie graduated from Torrey Pines High School in San Diego and started studying at Berkeley in 2004.
He’s a member of Net Impact, according to the group’s official website. Net Impact is a student-run consultation service at the University of California that aims to “bring social responsibility and environmental stewardship to business and innovation.”
4. Mohamed Bouhlel Has Been Described as a Petty Criminal Who Wasn’t on the Anti-Terror Radar
The attack’s perpetrator Mohamed Bouhlel has been described as a small-time criminal who was not on any terror watch list.
Bouhlel was arrested in May 2016 after he threw a wooden pallet at a motorist during an apparent road rage incident, reports France24.
At sentencing, he was spared jail time but had to check in with a parole officer once a week, something he did so. His probation ended after two months.
Bouhlel lost his job as a delivery truck driver after falling asleep at the wheel, causing an accident, reports the Daily Telegraph.
He also had previous convictions for armed theft and domestic violence, but had no known ties to terrorism and was not under surveillance, the newspaper reports.
Neighbors told The Telegraph that Bouhlel was “depressed and unstable, even aggressive,” because of his “marital and financial problems.”
Bouhlel was not known to be a religion person, neighbors and family said.
5. 2 Americans Have Already Been Confirmed as Dead After the Attack
An American father-and-son, Sean Copeland, 51, and his son, Brodie, 11, have been named among the fatal victims of the Nice attack. Their passing was confirmed by CBS Dallas/Fort-Worth. The Hill Country Baseball team also shared the sad news via Facebook, explaining that the above photo was sent by the Copelands earlier that day from the French Riviera:
This evening we would like to ask that the HC family keep the Copelands in your prayers. This afternoon our very own Brodie Copeland, as well as his father Sean Copeland, were killed during the terrorist attack in Nice, France.
This photo was sent to me earlier today from the French Riviera…Nobody deserves this type of fate, especially not such a wonderful family. You are in our hearts, thoughts, and prayers. Rest in peace, Brodie and Sean, you will be remembered by many.