Driver arrested in hit-and-run with LA County Sheriff recruits

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The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said in a statement Thursday that Nicholas Joseph Gutierrez was arrested Wednesday and charged with the attempted murder of a peace officer.

Authorities have said a man driving an SUV Wednesday morning in a Whittier suburb drove on the wrong side of the road and crashed into recruits during a morning drive. Five of them were seriously injured.

Authorities said a field sobriety test performed on the driver came back negative.

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Online prison records show Gutierrez is due to appear in court on Friday. It is not immediately known whether Gutierrez has a lawyer who can speak on his behalf.

A message has been sent to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office.

There were about 75 recruits from the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department and several local police departments running in formation down the street just before 6:30 a.m. when the crash occurred. They wore white T-shirts and green shorts and were accompanied by two black-and-white radio cars and eight highway patrolmen who wore reflective vests as a safety measure, sheriff’s authorities said.

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Deputies received help from a nearby fire station, but also immediately transported some of the most seriously injured directly to hospitals.

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