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Suspect released in crash that injured California Sheriff’s recruits

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The man police said drove an SUV into a group of Los Angeles County Sheriff’s recruits on Wednesday is out of jail. LA County Sheriff Alex Villanueva said the man, 22-year-old Nicholas Gutierrez, was released while investigators build a case against him.

According to police, on Wednesday morning, Gutierrez veered into the opposite lane of traffic and drove into a group of 75 Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department recruits. The recruits were participating in a training run at the time. An investigator with the Sheriff’s Department told local media they believed the suspect intentionally slammed into the recruits.

Injuries to the 25 recruits ranged from head trauma to loss of limbs. As of Thursday afternoon, seven recruits were still in the hospital. Two were in critical condition.

Gutierrez had no alcohol in his system at the time of the crash and passed a field sobriety test. He was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder on peace officers Wednesday. However, he was released from jail Thursday evening. He’s not out on bail because he has yet to be charged with anything.

A news release from the Sheriff’s Department said, “due to the complexity of the investigation, which includes ongoing interviews, video surveillance review and additional evidence to be analyzed,” homicide investigators released Gutierrez.

Sheriff Villanueva said he thinks there’s enough probable cause to charge Gutierrez, which has led many to ask why the 22-year-old suspect is not in jail awaiting trial.

In an interview with News Nation, Villanueva said he has grave concerns about L.A. County District Attorney George Gascon’s ability to prosecute. Villanueva said Gutierrez was “provisionally released” until the case against him is iron-clad, making a plea agreement unlikely.

Critics of the L.A. County DA said Gascon has a history of pleading down cases and not holding criminals accountable.

THE MAN POLICE SAY DROVE AN SUV INTO A GROUP OF LOS ANGELES COUNTY SHERIFF’S RECRUITS ON WEDNESDAY, IS OUT OF JAIL AND FREE TO CARRY ABOUT HIS LIFE.

LA COUNTY SHERIFF ALEX VILLANUEVA SAID THE MAN, 22-YEAR-OLD NICHOLAS GUTIERREZ, WAS RELEASED WHILE INVESTIGATORS BUILD A CASE AGAINST HIM.

THIS WAS THE SCENE WEDNESDAY MORNING, WHEN POLICE SAY GUTIERREZ VEERED INTO THE WRONG LANE AND DROVE INTO A GROUP OF 75 LOS ANGELES COUNTY SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT RECRUITS. THE RECRUITS WERE PARTICIPATING IN A TRAINING RUN.

25 RECRUITS WERE HURT. INJURIES RANGED FROM HEAD TRAUMA TO LOSS OF LIMBS. AS OF THURSDAY AFTERNOON, SEVEN RECRUITS WERE STILL IN THE HOSPITAL. TWO WERE IN CRITICAL CONDITION.

GUTIERREZ HAD NO ALCOHOL IN HIS SYSTEM AT THE TIME OF THE CRASH AND PASSED A FIELD SOBRIETY TEST. HE WAS ARRESTED ON SUSPICION OF ATTEMPTED MURDER ON PEACE OFFICERS WEDNESDAY. HOWEVER, HE WAS RELEASED FROM JAIL THURSDAY EVENING. HE’S NOT OUT ON BAIL BECAUSE HE HAS YET TO BE CHARGED WITH ANYTHING.

A NEWS RELEASE FROM THE SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT SAID DUE TO THE COMPLEXITY OF THE INVESTIGATION, WHICH INCLUDES ONGOING INTERVIEWS, VIDEO SURVEILLANCE REVIEW AND ADDITIONAL EVIDENCE TO BE ANALYZED, HOMICIDE INVESTIGATORS RELEASED GUTIERREZ.

THE SHERIFF SAID HE THINKS THERE’S ENOUGH PROBABLE CAUSE TO CHARGE GUTIERREZ, WHICH IS WHY MANY ARE ASKING WHY THE 22-YEAR-OLD SUSPECT IS NOT IN JAIL AWAITING TRIAL?

IN AN INTERVIEW WITH NEWS NATION, THE SHERIFF SAID HE HAS GRAVE CONCERNS ABOUT LA COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY GEORGE GASCON’S ABILITY TO PROSECUTE, SO GUTIERREZ WAS PROVISIONALLY RELEASED UNTIL THE CASE AGAINST HIM IS IRON-CLAD, MAKING A PLEA AGREEMENT UNLIKELY.

CRITICS OF THE LA COUNTY DA’S OFFICE SAY GASCON HAS A HISTORY OF PLEADING DOWN CASES AND NOT HOLDING CRIMINALS ACCOUNTABLE.

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55 Other sources covering this story

Bias Distribution

L 25%
C 56%
R 19%

56% of the sources are Center

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The man police said drove an SUV into a group of Los Angeles County Sheriff’s recruits on Wednesday is out of jail. LA County Sheriff Alex Villanueva said the man, 22-year-old Nicholas Gutierrez, was released while investigators build a case against him.

According to police, on Wednesday morning, Gutierrez veered into the opposite lane of traffic and drove into a group of 75 Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department recruits. The recruits were participating in a training run at the time. An investigator with the Sheriff’s Department told local media they believed the suspect intentionally slammed into the recruits.

Injuries to the 25 recruits ranged from head trauma to loss of limbs. As of Thursday afternoon, seven recruits were still in the hospital. Two were in critical condition.

Gutierrez had no alcohol in his system at the time of the crash and passed a field sobriety test. He was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder on peace officers Wednesday. However, he was released from jail Thursday evening. He’s not out on bail because he has yet to be charged with anything.

A news release from the Sheriff’s Department said, “due to the complexity of the investigation, which includes ongoing interviews, video surveillance review and additional evidence to be analyzed,” homicide investigators released Gutierrez.

Sheriff Villanueva said he thinks there’s enough probable cause to charge Gutierrez, which has led many to ask why the 22-year-old suspect is not in jail awaiting trial.

In an interview with News Nation, Villanueva said he has grave concerns about L.A. County District Attorney George Gascon’s ability to prosecute. Villanueva said Gutierrez was “provisionally released” until the case against him is iron-clad, making a plea agreement unlikely.

Critics of the L.A. County DA said Gascon has a history of pleading down cases and not holding criminals accountable.

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