- Authorities say that a man from Southern California was beaten to death and pulled out of his truck.
- Officers arrived on scene to see the victim being beaten and lying down.
- According to reports, the man tried to hit pedestrians using his truck.
A Southern California driver who witnesses said was attempting to crash into pedestrians on a sidewalk was pulled from his truck and beaten to death, the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department says.
The tumult began early Saturday morning when the man was asked to leave Rock It Sports Lounge and Grill in Hawthorne, a city of 90,000 people 15 miles south of Los Angeles, the Sheriff’s Department said in a statement.
According to the statement, the man fled but returned quickly, driving his truck onto a sidewalk, and almost striking many customers. The statement stated that the driver tried to “strike people” by calling police. The driver lost control of the truck and hit a tree.
The statement stated that patrons tried to get the driver out of the vehicle but he drove the truck into the nearby building. A physical altercation followed after the driver was removed from his car by patrons.
Shortly after, police were called to the scene.
“Hawthorne police officers saw the driver lying on the ground, suffering what appeared to be blunt force trauma,” the statement said. He was declared dead on the spot by paramedics.
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The Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office identified the driver as Melguin Lopez Santos, 40, of Los Angeles. No arrests had been made, but four people are cooperating in the investigation, authorities said.
Monica Perez, the wife of Lopez Santos pleaded with anyone who may have information to help her husband, to speak up.
Perez stated that “It is unfair” and felt like someone knows something. Perez spoke to KNBC-TV. “We are hurting here.”
Lt. Hugo Reynaga of the sheriff’s department told the Daily Breeze that Lopez Santos was told to leave the bar for being a nuisance. Reynaga claimed that grainy surveillance video captured the following incident. The fight was partially obscured.
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“You could see there was a fight going on, but you couldn’t tell who was doing what,” he said.
Detectives were waiting for the results of the autopsy to see whether Lopez Santos may have suffered a medical issue during the fight that led to his death, Reynaga said, adding that the crashes “weren’t that impactful.”