A man died in Hawthorne Saturday morning, Oct. 9, after he allegedly tried to hit people on the sidewalk outside a business with his truck, crashed against a building and then was pulled out and beaten by the group, authorities said.
The mayhem started when the man was asked to leave a business in the 14200 block of Hawthorne Boulevard, just north of Rosecrans Avenue, because he was being a nuisance, said Lt. Hugo Reynaga of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, which is leading the investigation.
The man then argued with another person outside before walking to his truck, Reynaga said. He then intentionally drove the truck onto the sidewalk, nearly hitting a group of patrons before his truck wedged against a tree.
Hawthorne police were called about the man’s driving just before 12:10 a.m.
As the patrons tried to take the man out of the driver’s seat, he accelerated again and hit the corner of a nearby building, Reynaga said.
The patrons took the driver out of the truck and continued fighting with him as Hawthorne police were arriving, Deputy Grace Medrano said.
As officers approached, the driver was lying on the ground suffering from blunt force trauma, Medrano said. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Sheriff’s homicide detectives were called about 2 a.m., Medrano said.
The incident was captured on surveillance video, but the footage was grainy and the fight occurred behind the truck partially out of view, Reynaga said.
“You could see there was a fight going on, but you couldn’t tell who was doing what,” he said.
Most of the people involved in the fight were interviewed by detectives and then released, pending the result of the coroner’s autopsy. It wasn’t known how many others fled as officers arrived.
Detectives were waiting for the results of a coroner autopsy to see if the man may have suffered a medical issue during the fight that led to his death, Reynaga said, adding that the crashes “weren’t that impactful.”
The driver was identified only as a man in his 40s.