Vista courthouse
North County Regional Center, courthouse in Vista. Photo by Chris Stone

 A young Washington state man who plowed a vehicle into a crowd of pedestrians at a Carlsbad strip mall received a five-year prison sentence Thursday.

John Martinez-Gutierrez, 20, of Spokane, pleaded guilty to an attempted murder count last month for striking multiple people with his vehicle just after 2 a.m. May 15 at the Village Faire shopping center on Carlsbad Village Drive.

Carlsbad police said Martinez-Gutierrez got into a fight with several people in the center’s parking lot, then drove his vehicle into a crowd. After driving a short distance, he then reversed the vehicle into another group of people, striking several more, then fled.

The attack left four people hospitalized with non-life threatening injuries, according to police.

Police arrested Martinez-Gutierrez two days later at a motel in Escondido.

– City News Service



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Ellen Bullock