Officials say group of law enforcement recruits released due to lack of evidence accused of involvement

Driver responsible for Cadet crash released hours after deputies say he did it intentionally

Driver responsible for Cadet crash released hours after deputies say he did it intentionally


Investigators said the driver who ran into dozens of law enforcement recruits on Wednesday did so intentionally, but was later released due to lack of evidence. CBS Los Angeles reports,

“They developed probable cause to believe it was intentional,” Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva said in an interview with NewsNation.

The driver, identified by law enforcement as 22-year-old Nicolas Joseph Gutierrez from the city of Diamond Bar, California, was taken into custody near the scene of the crash. He was later arrested and booked on suspicion of attempted murder of a peace officer. Kept without bail.

But, as CBS LA reports, the driver was later released after authorities said there was “insufficient evidence.” The sheriff’s department said it would continue the investigation and may arrest Gutierrez again.

The department did not release information on what led it to conclude that the crash was intentional.

Ten Los Angeles County Sheriff's cadets were injured when a driver hit them.
A Los Angeles County law enforcement recruit was injured on Nov. 16, 2022, when a driver struck him during an early morning run in Whittier, Calif.

Irrfan Khan / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

The SUV was reportedly traveling on the wrong side of the road and rammed into a group of 75 cadets who were on their morning run.

According to the Los Angeles County Fire Department, 25 people were injured and taken to various hospitals.

“Tragedy struck our department,” Villanueva said during a news conference on Wednesday.

Firefighters reported that five victims were in serious condition, four had “moderate” injuries and 14 had minor injuries.

Villanueva said the driver passed an alcohol breath analyzer test.

He said the training class included recruits from various law enforcement agencies, and the group of injured trainees included two each from the Bell and Glendale Police Departments and one from the Pasadena Police Department. The rest were trainees with the sheriff’s department.

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