HAWTHORNE (CBSLA) - Authorities were investigating the death of a man killed in Hawthorne early Saturday morning, who was allegedly pulled from a truck and beaten to death after nearly striking several people on the sidewalk in front of a business.
Hawthorne police received several calls at approximately 12:08 a.m. regarding a vehicle driving on a sidewalk, attempting to strike people who were standing.
The coroner has identified 40-year-old Melguin Lopez Santos of Los Angeles as the deceased driver of the pickup.
Santos had an earlier verbal altercation inside a business in the 14200 block of Hawthorne Boulevard and was asked to leave, but returned driving his truck onto the sidewalk and nearly struck several patrons, sheriff's officials said.
He ultimately lost control of the truck and hit a tree.
"Surrounding patrons attempted to take the driver out of the vehicle, but the driver was able to accelerate and drove his truck into a nearby building," according to an LASD statement. "Patrons again took the driver out of the vehicle, and a physical altercation ensued, at this time Hawthorne police officers arrived on scene."
When Hawthorne Police arrived, they found the victim lying on the ground, suffering what appeared to be blunt force trauma. He was pronounced deceased by paramedics.
At this time, there are four male suspects but no other description was available.
Anyone with information about the incident was encouraged to contact the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department's Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500.
Anonymous tips can be made to Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477 or submitted online at lacrimestoppers.org.
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