Los Angeles County CA Jan 19 2018
A former bouncer was sentenced to three years probation, 180 days in county jail and 240 hours of community labor after he punched a man who then fell into traffic and was fatally struck by a passing vehicle just over a year ago, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office said Wednesday.
Ernest Shawn Reyes is a 35-year-old resident of Arleta who was working as a bouncer at Star Garden, a topless bar in North Hollywood, when he threw a punch at Wilfredo Rodriguez, officials said at the time.
Rodriguez, 47, fell back after the punch and into passing traffic along Lankershim Boulevard, officials said. He was struck by a vehicle that fled the scene and died. The crash happened at about 1:15 a.m. on Dec. 15, 2016.
Reyes pleaded no contest to involuntary manslaughter last month, prosecutors said. In the days after the incident, he was initially charged with murder — a count that could have landed him a maximum sentence of 15 years to life in state prison if convicted. His bail was set at $1 million.
At the time of his death, friends of Rodriguez described him as a loyal, honest friend who was a native New Yorker.
“Just a man of his word, very rare to find a character like that in LA,” said one of his friends, Jack Atolikian.
It is unclear if the hit-and-run driver was ever identified or charged in connection with Rodriguez’s death.