Man Arrested After SUV Plows Into Sheriff's Recruits Charged with Attempted Murder

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department has revealed the identity of the man arrested after his SUV plowed into a group of recruits on a training exercise Wednesday.

On Thursday, LASD confirmed 22-year-old Nicholas Joseph Gutierrez was arrested yesterday and charged with attempted murder on a peace officer(s), with additional charges pending.

“Homicide investigators are continuing their investigation and will share additional information as it becomes available,” added the Department, who said “homicide investigators intend to present this case to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office this Friday for filing considerations.”

On Wednesday, a group of approximately 75 recruits were on a jog as part of training in Whittier when a Honda CR-V going 30-40mph in the wrong direction drove right into them. The vehicle then struck a light pole, with the driver sustaining minor injuries before cadets detained him and he was taken to the hospital. Per Sheriff Alex Villanueva, a breathalyzer was administered at the scene, but Gutierrez blew a 0.0.

The cause of the crash remains unknown.

25 cadets were injured, with Villanueva saying Wednesday that 16 suffered minor injuries, four had moderate injuries and five were critically injured. One of them was placed on a ventilator, as Villanueva said there were “life-altering” injuries — including head trauma, broken bones and loss of limbs — for several recruits.

According to the LA Times, two remain in critical condition and seven total remain hospitalized as of Thursday.

Villanueva said one witness claimed the scene “looked like an airplane wreck.”

“There were so many bodies scattered everywhere in different states of injury that it was pretty traumatic for all individuals involved,” he continued, saying those with the most serious injuries have “a long road to recovery.”

He also pointed out that one of the recruits was an RN and was able to start administering first aid immediately. A fire station was also just half-a-block away, so more help arrived on the scene almost instantly. “That was fortunate as well, so things that worked in our favor happened,” he said.

“Let’s just keep praying everyone has a speedy recovery,” he concluded.

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