A California accountant is in custody on a murder charge after he allegedly ran over a doctor in a crosswalk and then stabbed the man to death.
Around 3 p.m. on Wednesday, Michael Mammone, a 58-year-old emergency medicine physician, was riding his bike through the intersection of Pacific Coast Highway and Crown Valley Parkway in Dana Point along the southern coast of California between Laguna Beach and San Clemente. As Mammone headed north through the crosswalk on his bike, a driver in a white Lexus suddenly careened into him, sending him soaring into the air and then crashing into the middle of the intersection.
At that point, the suspect, identified later as 39-year-old Vanroy Evan Smith, exited his vehicle and then approached the victim, who was severely injured. According to a press release from the Orange County Sheriff's Department, Smith then "assaulted Mammone with a knife."
Surveillance footage captured by a camera at a nearby home shows the incident unfold. Though Mammone and his bike are difficult to see in the crosswalk, the collision itself and much of the aftermath is clear.
Warning: disturbing content
The homeowner whose camera captured that footage reported that the initial crash sounded like a "gunshot." When she went outside to investigate, she claimed she heard the suspect yell racial slurs about "white privilege" as he attacked the victim. Other witnesses claimed that Smith had also been wielding a BB gun, though those reports have not been confirmed. The knife used in the attack was recovered at the scene, police said.
While brave bystanders detained the suspect until police could arrest him, EMTs quickly rushed Mammone to the hospital where he later died from his injuries. Of his 30 years as an ER physician, Mammone spent nearly 12 of them at Providence Mission Hospital in Laguna Beach, often riding his bike to and from work.
"We are stunned by this devastating tragedy," said a hospital statement. "The entire Mission Hospital family is grieving over the loss of an incredible physician and friend. We will honor Dr. Mammone's dedication to our community and passion for medicine by continuing to provide exceptional care."
Mammone, a cyclist and a married father of two children, was beloved by his colleagues. He "had a warm personality" and "was the kind of person you wanted to be your doctor," said a hospital spokesman.
Smith reportedly owned a book-keeping and tax firm in Laguna Beach, though jail records list his occupation as "unemployed." His race has been listed as "black." He has been charged with murder and is scheduled to appear in court on Friday.
Police have not confirmed the accusations of racial slurs and have not determined a motive for the crime. According to the press release from the sheriff's office, investigators have not found any "connection between the suspect and the victim."
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