Driver strikes cyclist from behind before fatally stabbing him, California cops say

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A cyclist was killed when a driver struck him from behind, then got out of his vehicle and stabbed him, according to California authorities.

The cyclist was biking north on the Pacific Coast Highway in Dana Point at around 3 p.m. on Feb. 1 when he was hit and assaulted, according to a news release from the Orange County Sheriff’s Department.

Deputies found the cyclist, who was later identified as Michael John Mammone, 58, lying in an intersection with severe injuries, the release says.

He was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

The driver, Vanroy Evan Smith, 39, was being “detained” by bystanders when deputies arrived, the release says. He was arrested “on suspicion of murder,” according to the release.

Deputies recovered a knife at the scene.

Smith and Mammone didn’t seem to know each other, the release says.

Mammone was a doctor from Laguna Beach, according to KTLA. He worked in the emergency department at Providence Mission Hospital, the outlet reported.

In a statement, the hospital called Mammone’s death a “stunning tragedy,” according to KTLA.

“The entire Mission Hospital family is grieving over the loss of an incredible physician and friend,” the statement says, according to the outlet. “We will honor Dr. Mammone’s dedication to our community and passion for medicine by continuing to provide exceptional care.”

Friends on Facebook remembered him as a dedicated doctor.

“Dr. Mike Mammone, you exemplified what it is to be an awesome ER doctor,” wrote Stacy Petersen. “Amazing bedside manner, compassionate, really just had a caring demeanor while being a fun and energetic guy to work with.”

“Your ED team and friends will miss your leadership and your laughter,” wrote Deborah Poore. “Sending prayers to your family.”

“You were a great doc,” wrote Nabil Noujaim. “Saved many lives and improved the lives of many more.”

Smith is being held without bail, according to Orange County Jail records. Detectives are still investigating what led to the attack, according to police.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Orange County Sheriff’s Department at 714-288-6740 or send information anonymously through Orange County Crime Stoppers at 1-855-TIP-OCCS.

Dana Point is about 70 miles southeast of Los Angeles.

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