Motorist who struck and killed reveler not charged

March 16, 2001 No Comments

San Diego Union Tribune – March 18, 2007

PACIFIC BEACH – A motorist in Pacific Beach who ran over and killed a man who was part of a rowdy group of St. Patrick’s Day revelers harassing passing vehicles was not immediately arrested, San Diego police said Sunday.

Timothy Easton, 22, of Cardiff by the Sea, was pronounced dead at 6:45 Saturday night at an undisclosed trauma center, according to the Medical Examiner’s Office.

About a half-hour earlier, the unidentified motorist and his girlfriend were apartment hunting in the 800 block of Agate Street, where some partygoers who were shouting at passing cars stepped in front of his red Jeep, authorities told KFMB. Two males in the group began yelling at them, and one kicked the driver’s side door, said Lt. Kevin Rooney of the San Diego Police Department.

The driver accelerated to get away from the group and fatally struck Easton, who was standing in front of the vehicle, Rooney said.

“People tried to help (Easton), threw blankets over him … but it was pretty obvious it was too late,” area resident and witness Thomas Wright said.

Officers were called to the scene. Around the same time, the motorist called police from two blocks away and said he had just hit someone in his vehicle, Rooney said.

Rooney said the driver apparently did not know any of the men who confronted him.

The motorist was questioned and released without being arrested, Rooney said.
A decision on prosecuting the Jeep driver will be up to the District Attorney’s Office after San Diego Police complete their investigation, he said.

Candles were placed on the spot where Easton was run over, and tributes to Easton were posted on his MySpace Web site.

Several St. Patrick’s Day parties reportedly were being held on Agate Street in the early evening.

Original Story – March 17, 2007

SAN DIEGO – A 22-year-old man was fatally run over Saturday evening after he left a party in north Pacific Beach and jumped on the hood of a passing car, police said.

The man was part of a small group of partygoers that walked into the street and began shouting at passing cars after leaving a party in the 800 block of Agate Street about 6:15 p.m., said Lt. Kevin Rooney, a San Diego Police Department detective.

Two of the men flagged down a red Jeep and began kicking the driver’s door, Rooney said. Fearing for the safety of himself and his girlfriend, the 26-year-old driver started to speed away.

“As he hit the gas to leave, a third member of the party stepped in front of the car” and was run over, Rooney said. He died at a hospital half an hour later.

Some of the partygoers chased the car, yelling and cursing at the driver. The man, shaken, drove about two blocks and called police.

Rooney said late Saturday the driver probably would not be arrested because he appeared to have acted in self-defense. But he said police would continue to gather evidence and present it to the district attorney for a final decision on charges.

Rooney said the driver did not know any of the men who confronted him.

“We believe they were strangers,” Rooney said.

Assault

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