A 40-year-old driver accused of trying to run over a crowd on a sidewalk in southern California was beaten to death after the group dragged him out of his pickup truck, authorities said.
Around 2am on Saturday, Melguin Lopez Santos was asked to leave Rock It Sports Lounge and Grill on Hawthorne Boulevard in Los Angeles county for “being a nuisance”. Mr Santos allegedly climbed into his truck and drove onto a sidewalk, putting at risk several patrons who were waiting outside the bar.
The officials said that the truck first struck a tree and then rammed into a building before a group of people pulled him out of the vehicle and an altercation ensued, according to CBS Los Angeles.
“Hawthorne Police officers saw the driver lying on the ground, suffering what appeared to be blunt force trauma,” the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said in its statement. “Paramedics provided life-saving measures, but [Santos] was pronounced deceased on scene.”
Authorities are looking for four possible suspects in the case and are yet to make any arrests. Most involved in the fight were interviewed by the investigators and were subsequently released.
While the incident was captured on surveillance cameras, the footage is grainy and the incident occurred behind the truck, which was partially out of view, Lt Hugo Reynaga, an official from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, told Daily Breeze. “You could see there was a fight going on, but you couldn’t tell who was doing what.”
The investigators are now waiting for an autopsy report from the coroner’s office as they suspect that the man might have medical issues that led to his death during the fight, Lt Reynaga said, adding that crashes “weren’t that impactful.”