Port Hueneme man accused of intentionally driving into teenage bicyclists, killing 1, after battering 2 others at laundromat

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A Port Hueneme man was charged with murder after allegedly striking a group of teenagers on bikes Monday, killing one of them and injuring the others, officials announced Friday.

Samuel Matthew Rocha, 28, was charged with one count of murder and four counts of attempted murder, the Ventura County District Attorney’s Office said in a news release.

The complaint also charged five special allegations stating Rocha personally used his vehicle as a deadly weapon, and two special allegations that he personally inflicted great bodily injury, according to the DA’s office.

In addition, the 28-year-old was charged with one count of assault with a deadly weapon and two counts of battery, for an incident that took place in Oxnard about 10 minutes before the other incident for which he faces charges.

Just after 9:30 p.m. Monday, police were dispatched to a hit-and-run traffic collision at the intersection of Pleasant Valley and Ventura roads.

Witnesses told police that several teenage bicyclists had been struck by a driver in a gold-color Lexus sedan, who then fled the scene.

An investigation found that Rocha was the driver of the vehicle and had allegedly intentionally driven into the bicyclists, killing a 16-year-old and injuring four additional minors, the DA’s office said.

Approximately 10 minutes earlier in Oxnard, Rocha is accused of battering a man and a woman at a laundromat, where he also struck an employee with his vehicle as he was leaving the parking lot.

Rocha appeared in court Friday for arraignment and pleaded not guilty to all charges and allegations.

He is due back in court to June 3 for an early disposition conference. Rocha is currently in custody without bail, officials said.

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