California Man Allegedly Beaten to Death by Group After Driving Truck Towards Host of People on Sidewalk

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A man in Hawthorne, California, died after he allegedly drove his truck on a sidewalk in an attempt to hit several people and was pulled out of his vehicle and allegedly beaten to death October 9.

According to a press release from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, the incident took place at the 14200 Block of Hawthorne Boulevard in Hathorne, California.

The deceased driver has been identified as 40-year-old Melguin Lopez Santos, CBS Los Angeles reported. NBC 4 said an autopsy is still pending regarding the cause of death.

Hawthorne Police responded to the scene after receiving multiple calls around 12:08 a.m. on October 9 “for service regarding a vehicle driving on the sidewalk attempting to strike people that were standing,” a press release from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department states.

The diver had a “verbal altercation” inside a business on the block and was asked to leave, “but returned, driving his truck onto the sidewalk and nearly striking several patrons standing on the sidewalk,” the release states.

The driver almost hit multiple patrons before he lost control of the vehicle and struck a tree.

“Surrounding patrons attempted to take the driver out of his vehicle, but the driver was able to accelerate and drove his truck into a nearby building,” the L.A. County Sheriff’s Office stated. “Patrons again took the driver out of his vehicle, and a physical altercation ensued; at this time, Hawthorne police officers arrived on scene.”

Hawthorne officers observed what seemed to be blunt force trauma on the driver as he laid on the ground. Paramedics attempted to save the man with “life-saving measures,” but the driver “was pronounced dead on scene,” according to the statement.

Homicide investigators with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Office are working with the Hawthorne Police Department to investigate the death. 

The Daily Breeze reports that the majority of people involved in the altercation “were interviewed by detectives and released, pending the result of the coroner’s autopsy.” 

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