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Video: Nicholas Joseph Gutierrez released from custody after arrest for Whittier crash that injured 25 police recruits

At least 22 police recruits struck by vehicle during morning run in Los Angeles suburb Twitter

Nicholas Joseph Gutierrez arrested and then released from custody after arrest for Whittier crash that injured 25 recruits.

Just before 6:30 a.m., in the Los Angeles suburb of Whittier, about 75 recruits from the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department and several local police agencies were running in formation when the driver veered into the wrong lane, hit the runners, and then crashed into a nearby light pole, according to authorities.

After an SUV drove into the wrong lane during a training exercise for Los Angeles Police Cadets early on Wednesday, wounding 25 cadets, a suspect was taken into custody on Thursday.

Released from custody  Nicholas Joseph Gutierrez, the defendant suspected of running over 25 LA sheriff’s recruits. After the investigation into Wednesday’s horrible tragedy is over, Gutierrez will be detained again, Sgt. Gerardo Magos told the Los Angeles Times.

According to a representative for the LA County Sheriff’s Department, Nicholas Joseph Gutierrez was forced to be released because California law prohibits officials from holding a suspect in jail for longer than 48 hours without presenting the case to prosecutors. In connection with the crash on Wednesday that injured 25 recruits, Nicholas Joseph Gutierrez was detained on suspicion of trying to kill a peace officer. However, according to jail records, he was released at 9:49 p.m. because there wasn’t enough proof that a crime had been committed.

The suspect was only freed, according to Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva, as authorities gathered more evidence and built a better prosecution case. Villanueva said investigators “have developed probable cause to believe it was intentional.”

The LA Times reported, “Authorities allegedly found weed in Gutierrez’ Honda CRV and are trying to determine if he was high at the time,” referring to  and citing a source familiar with the investigation.

“We operate under prosecutor George Gascón. We definitely have grave concerns about his ability to prosecute. We are actually going to provisionally release him (Gutierrez) until we can have the case iron clad, iron proof, and submitted to the DA for filing consideration. Right now, we want to tie up all the loose ends on the case and then present it to the DA,” Villanueva said in a news report from News Nation.

 

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