A 40-year-old driver who was 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.
At around 2am on Saturday morning, Melguin Lopez Santos was asked to leave the Rock It Sports Lounge and Grill on Hawthorne Boulevard in Los Angeles because it was “a nuisance”. Mr Santos allegedly climbed into his truck and drove onto a sidewalk, putting several guests waiting outside the bar at risk.
Officials said the truck first hit a tree and then rammed it into a building before a group of people pulled it 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 a blunt violent trauma,” the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said in its statement. “Paramedics took care of life-saving measures, however [Santos] was declared dead at the scene. “
The authorities are looking for four possible suspects in the case and have not made any arrests. Most of the combatants were interviewed by the investigators and then released.
While the incident was captured on surveillance cameras, the footage is grainy and the incident happened behind the truck, which was partially out of sight, said Lt Hugo Reynaga, an officer with the Los Angeles County Sheriff Daily breeze. “You could see there was a fight going on, but you couldn’t tell who was doing what.”
Investigators are now awaiting an autopsy report from the coroner as they suspect the man may have medical problems that led to his death during the fight, Lt Reynaga said, adding that the crashes were “not as influential”.