Whittier driver involved in a wrong-way Whittier accident is charged with attempted murder following a slap on sheriff’s officers

Nicholas Joseph Gutierrez, 22, was arrested Wednesday, hours after he allegedly careened a dark-colored SUV into a pack of L.A. County Sheriff’s Department recruits.

Officials confirmed that the California driver was charged with attempted murder of a peace officer in Wednesday’s wrong-way collision, which left 25 sheriff’s office recruits hurt.

Nicholas Joseph Gutierrez (22 years old) was arrested on Wednesday at 3:15 p.m., just hours after he drove a dark-colored SUV into an entourage of Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department recruits. The LASD made the announcement in an email Thursday. The LASD stated that he was now facing attempted murder charges for killing a peace officer.

The number of criminal charges for which he was accused by the sheriff’s office is not known. As of yet, no bail was granted.


Gutierrez is currently being held at an LASD facility near Norwalk. He is scheduled to appear before a judge on Friday, around 8:30 AM.

On Wednesday, Sheriff Alex Villanueva stated that 75 recruits from Sheriff’s Academy class 464 were running just before 6:30 AM when they were struck. Some runners were wearing reflective vests and the group was running with two safety vehicles.

Two investigators stand beside a mangled SUV which struck two Los Angeles County sheriff’s officers in Whittier, California on Nov. 16, 2022. (Jeff Gritchen/The Orange County Register via AP).

After that, the SUV slowed down and plowed into a pole, before finally coming to a halt.


Villanueva stated that “it happened so quickly that only the people who saw it veer into their path, they jumped out of danger, but those behind were not able to because they had never seen it.” They didn’t get enough warning.

California Highway Patrol is still investigating the motive behind the collision in Whittier. (AP/Jae C. Hong)

He said, “There were so many corpses scattered all over in various states of injury.”

Gutierrez was alleged to have a blood-alcohol level of zero and that a field sobriety testing was negative for obvious impairment. It was not possible to immediately find information about any drugs.

Many recruits sustained injuries that ranged from broken bones and head trauma to the “loss or limb” of their limbs. Five recruits were still in critical condition as of Wednesday.

Fox News Digital reached out to the LASD for more information about the conditions of the victims but they did not respond immediately.

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The collision is being investigated by the California Highway Patrol. Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Homicide Bureau (323-890-5500).

Fox News Digital’s Greg Norman contributed this report.

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