Ismail's final job, the Bolt driver killed in Fuengirola
Crime story

Ismail's final job, the Bolt driver killed in Fuengirola

The alleged murderer, who has a long history of being admitted to mental institutions, stabbed the victim 46 times after requesting a trip through the ride-sharing app

Irene Quirante

Monday, 13 May 2024, 22:14


It was just a few minutes before 5am. That night, like so many in the previous year and a half, Ismail K. spent it in the black Opel he drove for the Bolt ride-sharing company. A message via the app alerted him to a new job request on Calle Burgos in Fuengirola at 4.44am. He accepted it.

A couple were waiting for him at the indicated address. The girl, who had requested the trip through her account, got into the back seat of the car. Her boyfriend, with whom she had recently started a relationship - they had met two weeks earlier - walked around the car and stood by the driver's door.

The young man, without saying a word, allegedly pulled out two knives hidden in his trousers. From then on, the horror started.

The driver, knowing his life was in danger, unbuckled his seatbelt and climbed out of the Opel in a desperate attempt to get to safety. He was unsuccessful. The man, whom he had probably never seen before, caught him from behind as he ran, causing him to fall to the ground - 46 stab wounds ended his life in a flash.

That night, 22 June 2023, he was the second Bolt driver to receive that ride request via the app. Adrián, 35, the alleged killer, and his girlfriend, had been having dinner at a house and later moved on to drinks. According to the girl's account, they drank two bottles of wine and another of Martini. After finishing them, they ordered a car to go to a shop to get more alcohol.

Discussion on the phone

The first driver accepted the job about 4.35am, but he was very tired. He had been dozing off in the vehicle for a while. Sleep overcame him again as soon as he put the keys in the ignition of the car, without starting it. Possibly, that was what saved him.

He woke up to a call from the client he had left waiting, although the caller was a man, not the woman who had ordered the car. At first he was interested to know if he was OK, but then he changed his tone. "Asshole, you touch my girlfriend...", he told him on two occasions, according to the driver in court. "You've got balls, you've got guns on you, get ready," he added. The man hung up and refused the job.

The next to accept the job was Ismail. The victim, 44, was a native of Tetouan, from where he emigrated to Spain years ago in search of opportunities and a better life for his family. He obtained a residence permit and started working in the hope of soon bringing over his wife and young son, who were still living in Morocco. He had already initiated the family reunification process.

Before Ismail's murder, the alleged perpetrator argued with another Bolt driver on the phone, who cancelled the trip

That future was cut short in the early hours of that fateful morning, when he encountered Adrián, his alleged murderer, whose life had also suffered a setback several years earlier. His clinical history gives an account of this, with hundreds of pages summarising a little more than a decade marked by admissions to mental institutions.

His girlfriend, whom he met during psychiatry treatment at a hospital in Malaga, came out of the Bolt terrified as soon as she saw Adrian start to attack Ismail. She hid between two vehicles and called her partner's brother.

At 5am, a call to 091 alerted the National Police that a person was in need of medical assistance after being stabbed in the street. On arriving at the address, the officers found Ismail lying on the ground with a large pool of blood around him. He had no pulse and was not breathing.

Police deployed

The driver, as certified by the autopsy, had 46 stab wounds. According to investigators, it is likely several of the stab wounds were inflicted after he had already died.

Eight metres from his body was the Bolt vehicle, which was parked in the middle of the road with its hazard lights on. The officers approached the vehicle to check if there were any witnesses to the incident.

One of the officers saw the alleged murder sitting in the driver's seat. His shirt and hands were completely bloodied. The officers noticed that he was wielding two knives and allegedly started making threatening gestures at them.

The officers drew their guns and tried several times to make him stop and drop his weapons. The young man, increasingly nervous, jumped into the back seat and barricade himself in the car.

The officers requested reinforcements and three other patrols joined. In the face of Adrian's refusal to obey, the police finally broke one of the windows and emptied a defence spray inside the car. Only then did the young man give in and throw the weapons to the ground, whereupon the officers pulled him out and arrested him.

The officers located the two kitchen knives that the suspect allegedly left his house with in the car. Both were covered in blood and had blades about 20 centimetres long.

A forensic examination was carried out at the police station. The doctor's conclusion was that he had a psychotic break. This was also confirmed by the report from the hospital where he was being treated for schizoaffective and behavioural disorder.

'I did it out of fear'

Two days after the crime, Adrián was brought before Fuengirola magistrate's court. The suspect confessed to the knife attack, although he was convinced the man had survived.

"I did it out of fear, out of fear, to protect myself," he said. According to his testimony, he had given him a "bad feeling" when he spoke to him on the phone - although it was not Ismail he spoke to - and he went out into the street with the two knives because he feared for his life and that of his partner.

The defendant only broke down when the magistrate asked him what was wrong with him, referring to his state of mental health. "What's wrong with me? I'm fucking sad," he replied, adding the only thing he needed was "affection".

His first admission to a psychiatric institution dates back to mid-2011, in France. At the time of the incident, he was receiving treatment and was being monitored by professionals at the mental unit in Fuengirola. He had also been in centres for drug addiction.

Adrián lived alone and, although he received a non-contributory pension, he often struggled to meet everyday expenses such as electricity and water. He only had the support of his father - his mother is deceased - who was completely overwhelmed, as he has another son with mental health issues.

The life of the alleged murderer had long since spiralled due to his illness, aggravated over the years and by substance abuse. He now spends his days in the psychiatric penitentiary centre of Seville, awaiting trial.

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