The 22-year-old driver who allegedly struck a group of sheriff’s recruits on a training run in Southern California has been released from jail after being charged with attempted murder.
Nicholas Joseph Gutierrez was released Thursday night after authorities said they wanted more time to gather evidence to present to the district attorney’s office.
The sheriff’s department is required to present a case to the district attorney within 48 hours of an arrest, and they were not prepared to do so.
Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva said the suspect was “provisionally” released, but said investigators “developed probable cause to believe it was intentional.”
“Right now, we want to tie up all the loose ends of the case and then present it to the prosecutor,” Villanueva told NewsNation.
He said investigators believe it was intentional after “an exhaustive process of interviews with everyone involved, video surveillance, statements from recruits, physical evidence they have and what they got from the suspect himself.”
Gutierrez was taken into custody at the scene of the horrific crash along Mills Avenue in Whittier Wednesday morning. as 25 recruits suffered injuries including head trauma, broken bones and “loss of limb”, with at least five seriously injured.
Nicholas Joseph Gutierrez, 22, has been released from jail after being charged with attempted murder as authorities need more time to gather evidence in the case against him.
Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva said he was “provisionally” released, but said investigators “developed probable cause to believe it was intentional.”
Up to 25 recruits suffered injuries, including head trauma, broken bones and “loss of limb,” with five seriously injured after the crash in Whittier on Wednesday morning.
“It’s not like they arrested the wrong suspect,” Deputy Deanna Mares told CNN. “They just want to make sure the investigation is complete.”
“Due to the extreme complexity of the investigation, which includes ongoing interviews, video surveillance review, and additional evidence needed to be analyzed, homicide investigators released Mr. Gutierrez from the custody of the Sheriff’s Department,” authorities said in a statement. release.
His release comes after new surveillance footage was released showing the terrifying moment the driver crashed into a pool.
The graphic footage obtained by ABC7 it shows the recruits wearing white T-shirts and jogging together in formation in the area of Mills Road and Telegraph Road with two patrol cars following them seconds before the accident.
There seems to be little traffic on the residential street when a Honda SUV suddenly appears and crashes into the group of recruits with no clear indication to try to slow down.
The 22-year-old driver may have even sped off shortly before the collision, Villanueva previously said. He scored a 0.0 on a field sobriety test, it was reported, and was taken into custody at the scene. The cause of the collision remains under investigation.
“Some recruits say they heard the car speed up, they estimate around 30 to 40 miles per hour,” the sheriff told ABCY. ‘You can see how little reaction time it allows someone.’
Alexandra Kazarian, Gutierrez’s lawyer, told KABC on Thursday that she “has no doubt that an in-depth investigation will confirm that Nicholas is a young worker who has no animosity towards law enforcement, and that this was an absolutely tragic accident.” . ‘
The SUV charged at the group and then struck a utility pole at the side of the street, preventing it from hitting any more recruits.
“It happened so fast that only the people who had just seen it swerved towards them, jumped out of the way, but the people behind didn’t stand a chance because they never saw it,” Villanueva said.
‘They didn’t have that warning enough. As soon as the accident happened, the ensuing chaos they said looked like a plane crash, there were so many bodies scattered everywhere in different states of injuries.
A new video shows the terrifying moment a group of law enforcement recruits were struck by a wrong-way driver while on a training run in Southern California.
The footage opens by showing the recruits wearing white T-shirts and jogging together in formation in the area of Mills Road and Telegraph Road with two patrol cars following them.
A Honda SUV suddenly appears and crashes into the group of recruits with no clear indication to try to slow down. Bodies and debris strewn across the street
Authorities say nearly 75 recruits were out for a morning run in Whittier around 6:25 a.m. when the wrong-way driver plowed into the training platoon.
The driver reportedly blew a 0.0 but was found to have marijuana in his car.
It’s unclear if he was high at the time of the crash Wednesday morning, but the Los Angeles Times reports that he told police at the scene that he was sleepy.
“It looked like a plane crash, there were so many bodies scattered everywhere,” Sheriff Villanueva said at one of the press conferences. He added that all injuries were ‘survival’, but can be ‘life-altering’.
Patients were taken to several different hospitals, including St. Francis Medical Center and LAC+USC Medical Center.
At least one victim was hospitalized on a ventilator at a local hospital.
A gray SUV was wrecked after the 22-year-old driver crashed into a pole
Authorities say the driver was traveling the wrong way when he collided with a group of recruits.
The 22-year-old driver may have been speeding shortly before the collision, Sheriff Alex Villanueva said. He scored a 0.0 on a field sobriety test, it was reported, but was taken into custody at the scene.
FOX 11 reports that all of the recruits were attending the Sheriff’s Training Academy and Regional Service Center a mile and a half from the crash site.
The group was running with drill sergeants as well as two black and white radio cars as security vehicles and eight road guards. They all wore reflective vests.
Firefighters from nearby Station 96 were the first to respond after hearing a loud bang outside, where they found the crashed Honda.
Authorities are withholding the names of the victims until next of kin are alerted.
In the photo, authorities on the scene transport a bloodied victim to an ambulance.
Some were treated at the scene, while others were transported to local hospitals.
“While we await further information on his conditions, we wish everyone a speedy recovery.”
Governor Gavin Newsom also released a statement saying, ‘Our hearts go out to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s recruits injured this morning as they trained to serve their communities.
“Jennifer and I send our best wishes for his recovery and support his loved ones and colleagues at the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department during this difficult time.”