Surveillance video obtained by KTLA Wednesday shows a pickup drive onto sidewalk near pedestrians outside a bar in Hawthorne before the truck’s driver was fatally beaten by bystanders.
The footage was captured around 2 a.m. Saturday, after the driver — identified as 40-year-old Melguin Lopez-Santos — got into a verbal altercation at Rock It Sports Lounge and was apparently asked to leave, according to Los Angeles County sheriff’s investigators.
After being kicked out of the bar at 14239 Hawthorne Blvd., Lopez-Santos allegedly got into his truck and drove onto the sidewalk, where deputies say he nearly hit several people.
The video shows at least seven people were outside the bar as the truck with a utility bed careened onto the sidewalk. Lopez-Santos then apparently lost control of the vehicle, which came to rest against a tree.
Investigators say some of the patrons surrounded the pickup and tried to pull Lopez-Santos from it, but he continued driving before crashing into a liquor store nearby.
Once again people tried to pull the driver from the vehicle, and a fight ensued. By the time Hawthorne police arrived at the scene, they found Lopez-Santos on the sidewalk with apparent blunt-force trauma.
Lopez-Santos died at the scene.
No arrests have been made in connection with the assault, and on Monday, Lopez-Santos’ family called for justice in the case, saying they feel there’s a larger story.
“I feel like this was no accident, he was murdered. It wasn’t a car impact, somebody dragged him,” said Monica Perez, the man’s common-law wife. “I want the truth. Somebody is covering something in this bar and we need to investigate.”
Lopez-Santos leaves behind four children, according to a GoFundMe account set up by Perez.
L.A. County coroner’s records show an autopsy is pending and a cause of death has not been determined.
Anyone with information can call the sheriff’s Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500. Anonymous tips may be submitted via 800-222-8477 or lacrimestoppers.org.