The man who mowed down police recruits with his SUV two days ago was arrested and charged with attempted murder.

Police clearly feel that Nicholas Joseph Gutierrez intentional swerved into the wrong lane to murder police recruits.

But last night Gutierrez was released from police custody, according to CNN:

The man who was arrested for allegedly driving a vehicle into a group of law enforcement recruits in Whittier, California, was released from jail Thursday night, but the sheriff’s department insists they did not make a mistake.

Nicholas Joseph Gutierrez, 22, was released from custody at 9:49 p.m., according to jail records, citing an insufficient complaint.

Gutierrez is still considered a suspect in the case, and the decision to release him was made because investigators want more time to collect evidence to present to the District Attorney’s office for charges, not because they believe an error was made, said a spokesperson for the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

“It’s not like they arrested the wrong suspect,” Deputy Deanna Mares told CNN late Thursday night. “They just want to make sure the investigation is going to be complete.”

The Sheriff’s Department is typically required to present a case to the DA within 48 hours of a suspect’s arrest, and they were not ready to do that in the case of Gutierrez, Mares said.

Twenty-five recruits from multiple law enforcement agencies were hurt Wednesday when a vehicle drove into the group, an incident Sheriff Alex Villanueva initially called “a horrific accident.” That characterization changed dramatically Thursday morning, when the department announced the arrest of Gutierrez on suspicion of attempted murder of peace officers.

The sheriff’s department originally said they intended to present the case to the DA’s office on Friday. The department did not give a new timetable Thursday for presenting the case.

I hope someone is keeping an eye on Gutierrez because he’s likely to flee and turn this into a nationwide man hunt if police are not careful.

I hope they finish their preliminary investigation soon so they can put him behind bars again. He doesn’t deserve to be free after trying to massacre these recruits.

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