A man in California was allegedly dragged from his pickup truck and beaten to death after driving the vehicle at a group of bystanders outside a bar early on Saturday morning.
According to a statement issued to KCAL by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (LASD), the incident occurred after Melguin Lopez Santos, 40, of Los Angeles was ejected from the Rock It Sports Lounge and Grill in Hawthorne.
The authorities say Santos was removed from the bar following a verbal altercation. Sheriff’s officials say Hawthorne Police then began to receive calls at around 12:08 a.m. reporting that Santos was driving his pickup truck on the sidewalk attempting to hit people outside the bar.
At some stage, it is claimed that Santos lost control of his car and collided with a tree. That was the point at which the LASD say a group outside the bar attempted to pull him from the vehicle.
“Surrounding patrons attempted to take the driver out of the vehicle, but the driver was able to accelerate and drove his truck into a nearby building,” a statement given by the department to the news outlet said.
“Patrons again took the driver out of the vehicle, and a physical altercation ensued, at this time Hawthorne police officers arrived on scene.”
Hawthorne resident Emilia Chay told KTLA Santos had been “fighting” with the people outside the bar prior to getting in his truck.
“Then he came and took his truck because he wanted to hit the guys who were over there,” she said. “And that’s why he went and hit the wall. But what happened after, that I don’t know.”
Fox 13 reported that when Hawthorne Police arrived at the scene at around 2.10 a.m., they found Santos lying on the ground having suffered suspected blunt force trauma.
Despite the best efforts of paramedics, Santos was pronounced dead at the scene.
KCAL said no arrests have yet been made, though four people have been identified as being involved in the violent altercation and are cooperating with the authorities.
No other details have yet been released, with an exact cause of death yet to be determined. An autopsy is expected to take place this week.
According to a GoFundMe page set up by a woman purporting to be Santos’ widow, Monica Perez, the deceased was a father of four.
“Melguin was an amazing father to my kids,” she wrote. “His life did not deserve to be taken so soon.”
Newsweek has contacted Monica Perez and the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department for comment.
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