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Suspected DUI driver arrested after hitting pedestrian on Venice Boardwalk

DUI suspect drives on Venice Boardwalk, hits pedestrian before arrest
DUI suspect drives on Venice Boardwalk, hits pedestrian before arrest 03:18

A suspected DUI driver was arrested on Monday morning after he ran into a pedestrian while driving on the Venice Boardwalk. 

According to Los Angeles Police Department, officers were called to the area near the basketball courts, on Ocean Front Walk, at around 10 a.m. for a car driving on the boardwalk. 

Arriving officers say that the suspect, 33-year-old Israel DeAvila, was uncooperative at first, but they were eventually able to get him out of the car when he was taken into custody. 

Investigators learned that DeAvila became aggressive when he was approached by a group of people who told him to get off of the boardwalk. He allegedly began to rev his engine moments before driving into the group, hitting at least one of the people.

Video shows the suspect swigging a bottle of beer as he's confronted by one of the bystanders on the boardwalk.  "You gotta get off the boardwalk," a man can be heard telling the suspect, as he pulls away down the crowded path. 

Several blocks later, with a noticeably broken front windshield, police were finally able to locate him. The video shows two officers and multiple bystanders attempting to pull him from inside of his car. 

The victim wasn't seriously injured but was checked out by paramedics at the scene. 

KCAL News spoke to the victim, who says he's grateful it wasn't worse, but that city officials simply aren't doing enough to keep people like him safe. 

"He just kept going," said JR, a street vendor selling jewelry when he was hit by the suspect Monday morning. "He revved it more and that's when I lost my balance and I turned, my back hit his windshield really hard. In my mind, I was like, 'Wow, this is really happening. This guy really went for it.'"

Barriers were set up in areas were vehicles could access the boardwalk around 10 years ago, when a driver went on a rampage, killing one person. 

JR says that he doesn't feel safe on the boardwalk anymore, especially since those barriers don't seem to be active any longer. 

"Bring some barriers and just put them on there, for the safety of the people that are here."

As of Wednesday, DeAvila remains behind bars for several charges that include assault with a deadly weapon and driving under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol. 

The city of Venice was unavailable for comment when KCAL News reached out for a statement on Monday's events. 

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