Bail set at $350,000 for alleged hit-and-run driver in Pacific Beach
by NEAL PUTNAM
Published - 10/18/16 - 02:46 PM | 0 0 comments | 22 22 recommendations | email to a friend | print
A judge has turned down a request to lower bail for the man accused of running down three people in Pacific Beach including an intern for the San Diego Chargers who suffered brain damage.

Omar Anthony Gutierrez, 24, is accused of five counts of attempted murder in the Aug. 5 incident at 900 Garnet Ave. in which J’Ron Erby and two others were injured. Two others were nearly struck, but the car missed them.

Gutierrez’s attorney, Paul Neuharth Jr. asked San Diego Superior Court Judge Fred Maguire to lower his $350,000 bail on Oct. 13. Deputy District Attorney David McNees asked that bail stay as it is.

“Bail remains as set,” ruled Maguire.

Erby, 23, was in a medically induced coma for three weeks, but has recovered enough that he recently appeared at a Chargers football game. Funds have been raised for his medical expenses on a GoFundMe.com account that was set up by his sister.

Erby and two others were struck by the driver of a Hyundai Elantra around 1 a.m. and the driver kept going. San Diego Police recovered surveillance camera images and Gutierrez was arrested at his work place on Sept. 27.

A preliminary hearing was set for Jan. 10, 2017. A readiness conference was set for Nov. 3. Gutierrez has waived his right to have a speedy hearing.

The charges say Erby suffered great bodily injury by a deadly weapon, a car. He was walking with his roommate, Kendrick Hester, and his roommate’s friend, Martin Thomas, when all three were hit. The two friends needed surgery in a hospital for their injuries and they were released.

“There were two people with that group that had to dive out of the way,” said McNees afterward. “They were not actually hit, but they could have been hit. That’s why there are five charges (of attempted murder).”

A motive or explanation for the incident has not been discussed yet in court. Gutierrez has pleaded not guilty to all charges and remains in the George Bailey Detention Facility.

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