Released! Driver suspected of running into dozens of police trainees gets out of jail

25 L.A. County Sheriff's recruits injured in Whittier crash (video screenshot)
25 L.A. County Sheriff’s recruits injured in Whittier crash (video screenshot)

He’s already out of jail.

After spending only a few hours in custody, the 22-year-old man suspected of a wrong-way driving incident in which he hit dozens of police trainees, Nicholas Joseph Gutierrez is back on the streets as of late Thursday evening.

He had been taken into custody only hours earlier – for the attempted murder of peace officers.

According to a Fox affiliate in Los Angeles, the suspect is thought to be the driver that plowed into 25 law enforcement recruits in Los Angeles County.

The report explained jail records “cite a California law that authorizes police to release someone from custody without first being arraigned if there are insufficient grounds to make a complaint. Therefore, investigators are not legally allowed to hold a suspect for more than 48 hours without presenting a case to the district attorney’s office.”

Sheriff Alex Villaneuva said the investigations left authorities thinking the crash was intentional.

“They interviewed dozens and dozens of witnesses and victims,” Villanueva said, and the conclusion was that the crash was deliberate.

Gutierrez’ bail was set at $2 million.

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However, the sheriff’s department, which is doing the investigation with the state highway patrol, described the situation as so complex more evidence is needed.

The affiliate reported, “The California Highway Patrol said the collision was reported at 6:25 a.m. Wednesday near the intersection of Mills Avenue and Telegraph Road. CHP Capt. Charlie Sampson said the driver was going southbound on Mills Avenue when he veered into the opposing lanes and struck the victims going northbound while out on a morning training run.”

Twenty-five of the cadets were left injured, including five with critical injuries.

Surveillance video reveals the driver running directly into the recruits.

The names of the victims have not been released and Villanueva said some of them face a long road to recovery.

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