Police say driver was involved in drunken argument with construction workers

By Gary Walker

A driver who struck a construction worker before crashing his car into the Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. restaurant on Santa Monica Pier this morning has been arrested on suspicion of drunk driving and attempted murder.

Santa Monica police say Daniel Arroyos, 21, was arrested at the scene after he drove his vehicle around traffic bollards on the pier and struck the construction worker, a rowboat public art installation also meant to block cars, and the exterior of the restaurant.

The injured construction worker was treated at the scene for minor injuries to his hip and leg but refused transport to the hospital.

Police had initially responded to the pier at 1:18 a.m. after a group of men including Arroyos had gotten into an altercation with construction workers on the pier. At that time no one was arrested and Arroyos’ group left the pier, Santa Monica Police Sgt. Roberto Villegas said.

But at around 4:50 a.m., Arroyos returned to the pier to retrieve his vehicle and began arguing with the workers again, Villegas said.

“The suspect then proceeded to drive his vehicle toward them, striking one of the workers and hitting the Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. restaurant,” Villegas said. “He drove around the bollards on the pier as he drove toward the victim.”

The pier was open to tourists today despite the incident, police said.