June 21, 2019– Mary Greeley News – The call came in to Specialty Towing late Tuesday night, from a man who said his car had broken down on Skyline Boulevard near Woodside. The man, who gave his name as Sean, said he needed a tow truck to take him to San Bruno.
Sandra Lopez, an administrative assistant with the towing company, said no one at the company knew the location the caller gave was on the same stretch of road where a man had been found stabbed to death the night before.
“There were no red flags,” she said. So a dispatcher sent 31-year-old John Sione Pekipaki out to handle the call in one of Specialty’s dark green tow trucks.
The call seems far more sinister in hindsight — an apparent ploy to lure the tow truck driver up to an isolated point on the winding road, where authorities say Malik Dosouqi stabbed Pekipaki to death, then tried to drive a car at sheriff’s deputies when they discovered Pekipaki mortally wounded and calling for help.
Deputies shot at the car, though they failed to hit the driver. They later arrested Dosouqi, a 26-year-old Pacifica man, after he crashed into a nearby ditch.
Dosouqi was booked into the San Mateo County jail Thursday night after he was released from a hospital for treatment of a laceration. Prosecutors charged him Thursday with the murders of Pekipaki and of 32-year-old Pacifica taxi driver Abdulmalek Nagi Nasher, found fatally stabbed last Monday in the same area along Skyline Boulevard.
Dosouqi also is charged with using a deadly weapon and inflicting great bodily injury in each killing and with special circumstances, which can include multiple murders and lying in wait and which carry a sentence of death or life in prison without parole. He is scheduled for a court appearance Monday.
The call to Specialty Towing that Lopez described points to another common thread: the two victims were apparently lured at random.
The San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office has not detailed any motive for the killings, and did not respond to a request for comment Thursday afternoon.
But a cousin of Nasher, the taxi driver, said he went missing after a customer called him requesting a ride from El Granada to Santa Cruz late Monday night.
Lopez said she heard from a friend at another towing company that they had also gotten a call requesting a tow on Skyline Boulevard late Tuesday night, but that the company had been too busy to send a truck. She also said she did not recognize Dosouqi’s name as someone who had a conflict with Specialty Towing in the past.
“It was just a random call — anyone could’ve gone up there,” she said.
Pekipaki, who lived in East Palo Alto, was working to rebuild his life and attempting to reconcile with the mother of his two children, Viliami, 12, and Pamela, 1, after scrapes with the law that led to a divorce.
John Sione Pekipaki
He joined Specialty Towing in January, Lopez said, and was known around the company as a professional and friendly driver.
“He was a really great guy — he was really sweet,” Lopez said. “He was a very hard worker, very willing to go out there and help people.”
At some point after Pekipaki left the Specialty Towing lot Tuesday night, he called back to the dispatcher to say he was having trouble finding the stranded driver in the fog, Lopez said. That was the last time anyone at the company heard from him.
Authorities said they found Pekipaki near a dirt turnout off of Skyline Boulevard after returning to the scene of Monday’s homicide to search for more evidence. Pekipaki died at the scene.
The sheriff’s office told Lopez that the door to Specialty’s truck was found open and the inside was clean, indicating Pekipaki was attacked after he got out.
As a driver, Pekipaki handled breakdowns and crashes, as well as requests to tow away illegal parkers — the kinds of calls on which drivers expect to find irate drivers, and are ready for a confrontation, Lopez said. She keeps an aluminum baseball bat propped up next to her desk at Specialty Towing’s offices.
But the call for a tow on Skyline Boulevard did not seem like the kind of job a driver would have to be on guard for, she said.
“It’s just really sad that his heart was to go out there and help that stranded person,” Lopez said.
credit: In part with https://www.mercurynews.com/2019/06/20/skyline-killer-lured-tow-truck-driver-at-random-coworker-says-anyone-couldve-gone-up-there/