Investigators believe the driver who purposefully ran through dozens of Los Angeles County Sheriff’s recruits. Sheriff Alex Villanueva stated in a NewsNation interview that “they acquired reasonable grounds to believe it was purposeful.”
Later, deputies released the driver after determining they lacked “sufficient evidence.” The police department stated they’d keep looking into it and they might even detain him once more.
The reason why it is now thought that this crash was intentionally caused has not been made explicit by the Sheriff’s Department. The district attorney’s office for Los Angeles County stated in a statement that they were unable to comment on the case’s evidence.
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Since the event, “we have been in communication with LASD and CHP,” according to the statement from officials. “They informed our office late yesterday that they would be releasing the suspect and not bringing a case at this time. Due to the ongoing nature of the inquiry, we are unable to comment on the evidence in this matter.
LASD Dep. Recruit class assigned to the STARS Center Training Academy, Whittier, were struck by a vehicle at approx. 6:26 am, 10600 blk of Mills Ave during their run. Multiple injuries, & all victims transported to local hospitals.
For further: https://t.co/vv1ITCvWmp pic.twitter.com/xioe7OlfiY
— LA County Sheriffs (@LASDHQ) November 16, 2022
According to the case supervisor, this occurrence necessitates a thorough investigation that includes processing numerous security recordings, some of which are of poor quality, as well as recording and analysing the interviews with more than 75 witnesses.
The California Highway Patrol is analysing the Honda SUV’s onboard computer to ascertain the circumstances leading up to the collision. According to reports, the SUV was travelling on the wrong side of the road when it drove into a line of 75 cadets who were sprinting. 25 Sheriff’s recruits were hurt in the crash, the Los Angeles County Fire Department reported. All patients were transported to local hospitals, which are numerous. The UC Irvine Medical Center and St. Francis Medical Center received the worst injury victims.
Tragic events happened in our department, Villanueva stated at a news conference on Wednesday. According to firefighters, 14 persons had minor injuries, four had “moderate” injuries, five were in critical condition, and five had severe injuries.
Our thoughts are with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s recruits who were injured this morning while training, and their families and colleagues during this difficult time. Sending our best wishes for a full recovery. https://t.co/shnA9dAwnl
— Eleni Kounalakis (@EleniForCA) November 16, 2022
The driver, Diamond Bar resident Nicholas Joseph Gutierrez, 22, was apprehended close to the scene of the collision. Later, he was detained and held on suspicion of trying to kill a peace officer. He was detained without posting bail.
At around 6:30 in the morning, a collision was reported close to Mills Avenue and Trumball Street. A class of recruits has been given to the STAR Explore Training Academy. The motorist, according to Villanueva, passed a breathalyser test for alcohol.
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The group of injured trainees comprises two representatives from each of the Bell and Glendale police departments and one from the Pasadena Police Department, he continued, adding that the training session included recruits from several law enforcement organisations. The remainder were all cadets in the sheriff’s office.
Alexandra Kazarian, the attorney for Gutierrez, stated that she anticipates the inquiry to show that the collision was a terrible accident.
The District Attorney’s office issued a statement that read, “All we know at this point is that this is a sad accident and we are all wishing those harmed a swift recovery.” The Sheriff hasn’t brought a case to our office, thus we are unable to speak further.
According to legal expert Seve Meister, there must be enough proof before Gutierrez can be charged with attempted murder of a peace officer. Meister added, “You’ll need to persuade everyone, first with the prosecutor, then a judge, then a jury. Before keeping someone in jail for something like that, you better have your ducks in a row.
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