Man arrested on suspicion of attempted murder for plowing into LASD recruits
Nicholas Joseph Gutierrez, 22, who was driving an SUV and on his way to work when he crashed into the recruits, is being held on $2M bail
By Hunter Lee
The Orange County Register
LOS ANGELES — A 22-year-old Diamond Bar driver has been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder of one or more peace officers for plowing into 75 cadets out for a training run in South Whittier on Wednesday morning, authorities said on Thursday, Nov. 17.
The Sheriff’s Department said Nicholas Joseph Gutierrez was arrested by deputies just after 3 p.m. the day of the collision and added in its Thursday statement that more charges could be added.
Gutierrez, authorities had said, was behind the wheel of a SUV and on his way to work, suffering minor injuries in the crash.
Gutierrez was scheduled to appear in court on Friday, Nov. 18, according to court records, which show he has a $2 million bail.
In the collision, five cadets were left in critical condition, while four others had moderate injuries. Another 16 suffered minor injuries.
“Homicide investigators are continuing their investigation and will share additional information as it becomes available,” the department’s statement said.
“The Sheriff’s Department would like to thank the Los Angeles County Fire Department, the California Highway Patrol, the incredible medical staffs who are caring for our injured personnel, the other agencies that assisted in this investigation, and the outpouring of love and support we have experienced from the community.”
The entire class of 75 cadets, mostly Sheriff’s Department recruits but some in line to get hired by other Southern California police agencies, were jogging in four columns on Telegraph Road, heading toward Mills Avenue, just before 6:25 a.m.
Two sheriff’s patrol cars were alongside to protect them from traffic as they ran in the street, the sheriff has said. The class went north on Mills, merging from four columns into two. The patrol cars let them pass and went to the rear.
That’s went the SUV, going southbound on Mills at about 20 to 30 miles per hour, suddenly veered into the opposite lane and collided with the cadets. Some recruits said that the driver continued accelerating before smashing into a light pole and coming to a halt, a sheriff’s captain has said.