A man was charged Friday with murder in the killing of a bicyclist in Dana Point a popular beach city in Southern California.
The bicyclist was cycling on Pacific Coast Highway was mowed down by a Lexus and then stabbed to death by the driver, a former accountant who was reportedly making ‘white privilege’ slurs.
The driver also faces a sentencing enhancement for the personal use of a deadly weapon. He pleaded not guilty at his arraignment in the jail courtroom in Santa Ana, according to ABC7.
“An innocent man is dead because he took a bike ride to enjoy a beautiful California day along the beach and he was hit with a car and stabbed to death by someone he apparently never met,” said Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer.
“The murder of a complete stranger in broad daylight for what appears to be absolutely no reason is the stuff of nightmares,” Spitzer added.
The victim, Dr. Michael Mammone, 58, a respected emergency room doctor, was cycling on the Pacific Coast Highway, California when he was run over by a white Lexus which sped through a red light at an intersection on Wednesday at around 3 pm.
The driver of the vehicle, Vanroy Evan Smith, 39, then got out of his car and stabbed the cyclist multiple times in the back, with brave bystanders tackling him to the ground.
Witnesses say he was holding a BB gun when he approached Dr. Mammone, a married father-of-two, and was screaming racial slurs about ‘white privilege’, according to ABC7.
Smith, who is described as a black man on his arrest records, can then be seen walking over to Dr. Mammone and attacking him again before witnesses drag him away.
Orange County Sheriff’s Department said investigators were unaware of the slurs and added that there was ‘no known relationship or motive’ for the killing.
It is unclear if the doctor was traveling to or from work during the incident, with friends saying he regularly cycled to the hospital as he lived close by.
Authorities discovered the doctor lying in the intersection suffering from severe injuries, with police recovering a knife from the scene.
Despite witnesses claiming they saw a gun of some kind, officials have not confirmed if any firearms were recovered from the scene.
Sgt Michael Woodruff also praised the witnesses at the scene who detained Smith, calling their actions ‘brave and heroic’.
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