LASD investigating mysterious death of man in Hawthorne

Local news

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department is investigating the death of a man in Hawthorne early Saturday morning.

The Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office identified the man as Melguin Lopez Santos, 40, of Los Angeles, according to the Los Angeles Times. A family member confirmed Santos’ death to KTLA.

Santos was found dead outside of Rock It Sports Lounge, located at 14239 Hawthorne Blvd., at about 2:10 a.m., according to the Sheriff’s Department.

“There was a body laying here. It was covered with a white sheet, and there was a truck parked in this direction,” said Hawthorne resident Emir Perez.

The pickup nearly struck a group of people standing outside the bar, which Santos had been asked to leave after an altercation moments before, the Sheriff’s Department said.

“I heard… I don’t know it, just telling you what I heard… he started fighting with them. Then he came and took his truck because he wanted to hit the guys who were over there. And that’s why he went into and hit the wall. But what happened after, that I don’t know,” said Hawthorne resident Emilia Chay.

Police believe the people outside the bar tried to pull Santos from the truck, but he was able to accelerate away until he slammed into the wall of a nearby liquor store.

The crowd again tried to pull Santos from the car and a fight broke out, the Sheriff’s Department said.

Police did not detail what happened after that, but by the time deputies arrived, Santos was on the ground suffering what appeared to be blunt-force trauma, authorities said.

Paramedics tried to revive him, but Santos was pronounced dead at the scene.

The Coroner’s Office will determine the cause of death.

A GoFundMe has been set up for Santos’ family.

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