A 40-year-old California man and father was beaten to death outside a sports bar after reportedly trying to run a group of people over late Saturday night.
Melguin Lopez-Santos was allegedly asked to leave Rock It Sports Lounge on Hawthorne Boulevard following a verbal altercation with people inside the bar just after 2 a.m.
Surveillance video obtained by Eyewitness News shows Melguin Santos drive his truck onto a sidewalk near the bar. Police say the altercation escalated with the group and he then tried to run the group over.
The driver missed the group, hit a tree, and then crashed into a nearby business. Police say the group of people, apparently angered by his attempt to run them over, pulled him out of his crashed car. Four men were engaged in the fight. Once they had got him out of his car, they beat him viciously. The California man later died of his injuries.
Lopez-Santos’ family and friends doubt the story told by those who killed him was accurate. Some claim they were there and saw what happened. They claim he was driving away but lost control of his car. Other family members wondered why the four men felt the need to beat him once they had the advantage. They also had the numbers.
California Man Was Overwhelmed
“You got it all wrong,” said his sister-in-law Ilene Perez. “My brother wasn’t like that. He was not a killer. They killed him. He was probably trying to get away. He probably feared for his life,” she added.
She went on to wonder why they immediately resorted to violence.
“Why couldn’t they talk it out?” she said. “Why hurt him like that?”
Manhunt Under Way?
At the moment, it does not appear as if the identities of the four men are known to law enforcement. That’s caused some to wonder why there isn’t a bigger public effort to find them and arrest them.
A group of activists and family members are now calling on city officials to introduce a reward for the arrests of the people who allegedly killed Santos.
The Hawthorne Police Department has said it is working with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department to find the four suspects involved in the California man’s fatal beating. In the meantime, his friends and family are holding a vigil for him.
Among the reasons they are trying to shed more light on this case is because he is indeed a father. His sister-in-law says he’s actually a very good person.
“My brother-in-law was a good man,” Perez told the media. “He didn’t deserve this. Whatever…started it, whatever took it to that situation, it shouldn’t have (gone) that far.”
However, at the moment, there aren’t any answers. Indeed, police are looking for those alleged to have killed the California man and father.
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