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Motorist drags, kills pedestrian in Bell

December 13, 2009 | 11:16 pm

A customer leaving a Starbucks in Bell on Sunday was dragged and killed by a motorist who had just used his car to try to ram another group of victims, investigators said.

Miguel Penayo, 32, was arrested at the scene on Atlantic Avenue after the chaotic 9:40 a.m. incident, which began with a traffic collision, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff"s Department. Streets in the area were closed for several hours as police searched for the driver and then investigated the crash.

After the traffic accident, Penayo and a group of men apparently from the other vehicle ended up on opposite sides of the street. The group began approaching Penayo in a threatening manner, deputies said, with one man carrying a metal rod.

Penayo drove his car directly at the group, striking one of the men. His car continued across Atlantic Avenue and into a driveway at a Starbucks near Florence Avenue, where his vehicle hit a patron exiting the coffee shop. The man, identified as 27-year-old Rosshadi Abauwad, had been dragged under Penayo's vehicle "for some distance" and killed, the department said.

The other victim hit by Penayo received minor injuries and was treated by fire rescuers at the scene.

-- Rich Connell