Family members of a man who died after an argument with a group of people outside a bar in Hawthorne asked Monday to report witnesses to help the investigation.
The coroner identified the man who may have been beaten to death by people who pulled him out of a truck after an accident as Melguin Lopez Santos, 40, from Los Angeles. The truck he was driving early Saturday morning narrowly missed the people standing on a sidewalk outside the bar.
An autopsy was due to clarify the cause of death.
Family members speaking to NBCLA on Sunday asked anyone with information about the altercation to come forward.
“It’s not right,” said Ms. Monica Perez. “I just have the feeling that someone is hiding something.
“If anyone has any information, please contact us. We hurt. “
Hawthorne Police Department received multiple calls around 12:10 p.m. Saturday about a vehicle that nearly hit several people on the sidewalk on the 14200 block of Hawthorne Boulevard, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department reported. The driver was previously involved in a dispute at the store and was told to leave the store but returned and drove his truck onto the sidewalk, sheriff officials said.
The truck eventually hit a tree.
According to a LASD statement, people tried to get the driver out of the vehicle, but the driver was able to accelerate and drove his truck into a nearby building.
“Patrons took the driver out of the vehicle again and there was a physical altercation, to which the Hawthorne police arrived,” the statement said.
Hawthorne officials arrived within minutes of the call and found Lopez Santos on the ground suffering from an apparent blunt violent trauma – a beating, sheriff officials said. Paramedics tried life-saving measures, but he still died on the scene.
Sheriff officials said four men were considered prime suspects, but no descriptions were released and no further information was available. The sheriff’s murder detectives were assisting Hawthorne police with the investigation, officials said.
Anyone with information was encouraged to call the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Homicide Office at 323-890-5500. Anonymous tips can be requested from Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477 or submitted online at lacrimestoppers.org.
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