Driver arrested after allegedly hitting pedestrian in SLO on purpose

A San Luis Obispo man was arrested Sunday night after he intentionally reversed his car into a pedestrian, police said.

Officers said they received multiple 911 calls at 10:22 p.m. saying a car had hit a pedestrian in the 1000 block of Chorro Street. An unconscious man was found in the street when they arrived.

Witnesses told police that a driver, later identified as Scott Johnson, 50, was driving north on Chorro and had been stopped at a red light at Higuera Street. When the light changed to green, he accelerated and entered the intersection, according to San Luis Obispo police. Several pedestrians were crossing Chorro on Higuera at the time and had not yet reached the other side of the intersection. Johnson honked his horn at the crowd, according to police, and continued driving through the intersection.

According to witnesses, a 21-year-old man took offense to the honking and began shouting at Johnson, chased after his vehicle and and slapped the back window.

Johnson stopped his vehicle mid-block, according to police, and accelerated in reverse, hitting the man.

Several employees from Bull’s Tavern began giving aid to the man and prevented Johnson from leaving, according to police.

Johnson was arrested on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon and was booked into County Jail. Bail was set at $25,000.

The victim was taken to Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center and was being treated in the intensive care unit. His condition was stable as of 6 a.m. Monday, according to police.

It is believed the victim had been drinking prior to incident, according to police. Johnson had been drinking earlier in the evening, but was determined to not be driving under the influence after he was given a series of field sobriety tests.