The 22-year-old man accused of driving a vehicle through a crowd of more than 20 police recruits in Whittier, California, Wednesday morning was released from jail Thursday night, according to CNN.
Nicholas Gutierrez was arrested after he allegedly drove down a road in the wrong direction and crashed into a group of recruits from multiple law enforcement agencies in what Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva originally called “a horrific accident,” the outlet reported. Five recruits were critically hurt, while four were moderately injured and sixteen sustained minor injuries, according to Fox 11. (RELATED: Los Angeles Lakers’ Patrick Beverley Once Had Police Protecting Him After A Ball Boy Threatened To Kill Him)
The Sheriff’s Department must usually give the District Attorney a case within 48 hours of arresting a suspect, Deputy Deanna Mares told CNN, and Gutierrez was released to give investigators additional time to collect evidence for charges, according to a department spokesperson.
“It’s not like they arrested the wrong suspect,” Deputy Deanna Mares said, according to the outlet.
Villanueva had stated in a Wednesday news conference that the driver had not seemed impaired and registered zero in a Breathalyzer test after the crash, which left no visible skid marks at the site, CNN reported.
Our thoughts are with those impacted by this morning’s events involving the Sheriff’s Recruits. As we await more information on their conditions, we are wishing everyone a quick recovery.
— LAPD HQ (@LAPDHQ) November 16, 2022
Gutierrez’s lawyer Alexandra Kazarian told ABC 7 Thursday that she had “no doubt that an in-depth investigation will confirm that Nicholas is a hard working young man who holds no animosity towards law enforcement, and this was an absolutely tragic accident.”
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department referred the Daily Caller News Foundation to a press release on the matter.
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