Rental van crashed into Encinitas bar called The Saloon.
A rental van crashed into Encinitas bar called The Shelter bar. Image via OnScene. TV

A man who drove a U-Haul rental van into a crowd of people on a sidewalk outside an Encinitas bar, injuring three pedestrians in the process, is slated to be sentenced next month to 18 years in state prison.

Christian Dwight Davis, 31, pleaded guilty Tuesday to assault and DUI charges, along with allegations of causing great bodily injury, for driving into a group gathered outside The Shelter bar around 1:15 a.m. March 1, 2020.

Davis, who was previously set to go to trial on attempted murder charges in the case, was arrested at the scene.

At Davis’ arraignment in early 2020, Deputy District Attorney Kimberly Coulter said the defendant was kicked out of the bar for being too drunk, then told security guards, “You’re going to regret doing this. I’m going to come back and I’m going to kill you.”

After leaving the bar, Davis got into a van and drove it on the sidewalk and intentionally tried to hit people standing outside the bar, she said.

Two bystanders and a security guard were struck, then the van slammed into a roadside tree and the front of the bar.

Davis is scheduled to be sentenced to the stipulated 18-year term on Oct. 19.

— City News Service