Twenty-two-year-old Nicholas Joseph Gutierrez, who is accused of running down a group of police recruits from multiple agencies and the people accompanying them in Whittier, Calif., was released from jail. Gutierrez had been charged with attempted murder and remains a suspect in the case.
Recruits from the Sheriff’s Academy were out for a run on Wednesday when an SUV came down the street the wrong way and struck 25 of them. Five people sustained critical injuries. Those injuries included head trauma, broken bones, and “loss of limb.” Fox News noted that at least some of the recruits were wearing reflective vests and that they had a vehicle escort. The SUV came to a stop when it struck a light pole. Gutierrez was found to have a blood-alcohol level of zero and he passed a field sobriety test.
But according to CNN, despite the charge of attempted murder, Gutierrez was released from jail just before 10:00 p.m. local time on Thursday. The reason? An “insufficient complaint.” Authorities needed more time to collect evidence before taking the case to the District Attorney’s office for formal charges. A Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department spokesperson said that Gutierrez was not released because of an arrest error. The spokesperson added that the department has 48 hours to present a case, and was not prepared to do so in this situation. Gutierrez’s attorney maintains that the incident was actually an accident.
The man who allegedly charged an SUV toward 75 law enforcement recruits is walking free today.
The injuries sustained ranged from “head trauma to loss of limbs.” https://t.co/89Doy9jG6O
— MRCTV (@mrctv) November 18, 2022
— LAist (@LAist) November 18, 2022
But authorities say they arrested the right man. Gutierrez had not been drinking. Although it is not known if he had taken drugs, the field sobriety test did not reveal any impairment. There were no skid marks and no indications that he even tried to slow down. Twenty-five people were injured, five of them critically. One person at the scene described it as looking like an airplane wreck. And the suspect was set free. This was not a drug deal, or a possession or shoplifting case. This was not a DUI, fender-bender, or bar fight. Any person in reasonable possession of their faculties or emotions would recognize the problem well before plowing through 25 people. Or they at least would have stopped. Why the Los Angeles DA can’t see the difference between this and your average misdemeanor or even felony is a mystery. But then again, the Los Angeles DA is none other than George Gascón, so it should be no surprise that there are policies that allowed Gutierrez to walk out of jail on Thursday night.
Since Gutierrez has retained legal counsel, one may assume that he plans to appear in court. But the fact that he did not remain in custody after something like this speaks volumes about not just Gascón, but Leftist policies and the condition in which they have left the city and county.