A California emergency room doctor out for a ride on his mountain bike was allegedly murdered Wednesday by a man who police said struck him from behind with his vehicle, then jumped out and repeatedly stabbed him while, according to a witness, decrying “white privilege.”
The shocking attack on Dr. Michael John Mammone, 58, was caught on grim Ring doorbell video at around 3 p.m. in Dana Point. Mammone was riding his bike along Pacific Coast Highway when he was struck from behind by a vehicle allegedly driven by Vanroy Evan Smith, 39. Bystanders detained Smith after he had allegedly stabbed Mammone, who was taken to a hospital where he later died. A neighbor near the scene told ABC7 she heard the attacker muttering racial slurs regarding “white privilege.”
“A vehicle approached a cyclist at this intersection, struck him, launched him into the intersection,” Sgt. Mike Woodroof of the Orange County Sheriff’s Department stated. “At that point, the suspect drove around the victim, exited his vehicle, went back to the victim and continued to assault the victim.”
The windshield of the vehicle Smith was allegedly driving was reported shattered.
“At this time, there is no known connection between the suspect and the victim. Investigators will work to determine what led to this incident,” the Orange County Sheriff’s Department stated.
Mammone, who received his medical degree from the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California, worked at Providence Mission Hospital in Laguna Beach. The hospital released a statement mourning the doctor’s death.
“We are stunned by this devastating tragedy,” the statement said. “The entire Mission Hospital family is grieving over the loss of an incredible physician and friend. We will honor Dr. Mammone’s dedication to our community and passion for medicine by continuing to provide exceptional care.”
Mammone and his wife Julie, a nurse at the hospital where he worked, had two sons. She told The Daily Mail that it was a “really difficult time” for the family after her husband’s death.
Dr. Dawn Aatwal, a cardiologist at Providence Mission Hospital, noted to Fox 11 that Mammone “saved so many lives here,” adding, “That’s the irony of this whole thing. If a patient was brought in his condition he would have done everything he could to save that person.”
According to Heavy.com, Smith stated on his Facebook page in 2021, “How do you justify forgiveness? It is pardoning yourself by pardoning others. Our pains have grown us, and now we are all stronger, wiser, more civilized …”