WHITTIER >> Coroner’s officials on Sunday released the identity of a 27-year-old Whittier man who died after a struggle with police in Whittier last week.
Jonathan Andrew Salcido died at a hospital after being detained by police about 2 p.m. Thursday in the 900 block of Ocean View Avenue, Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner Investigator Rudy Molano said.
The officers had responded to a call from a nearby home reporting a family member suffering from mental illness was refusing to go to a psychiatric facility, according to Deputy Caroline Rodriguez of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Information Bureau.
The man, later identified as Salcido, had run away from the home when police arrived, but was followed by a family member.
When officers encountered the man, he began trying to jump a fence in front of a water reservoir, Rodriguez said in a written statement.
Police used “control holds” to wrestle Salcido into custody, she said. Salcido soon became unconscious and was taken to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead.
Salcido’s cause of death remained unclear Sunday pending the completion of an autopsy, Molano said.
No further details regarding the incident were available. The sheriff’s Homicide Bureau is handling the investigation.
WHITTIER >> A mentally ill man lost consciousness and ultimately died at a hospital after he was restrained by police in Whittier on Thursday afternoon, authorities said.
The man, whose identity was not available, died at PIH Health Hospital in Whittier shortly before 2 p.m., according to Los Angeles County sheriff’s and Whittier police officials said.
Officers responded to a home in the 14400 block of Tedemory Drive, “regarding a male adult suffering from a mental illness who was refusing to go to a mental hospital,” Deputy Caroline Rodriguez of the sheriff’s Information Bureau said in a written statement. The man had run away from the home by the time police arrived.
A family member followed the man about a mile to the 7900 block of Ocean View Avenue, Rodriguez said. As officers approached, the man tried to jump over a fence leading to a water reservoir.
“Officers used control holds to restrain and handcuff the male,” she said. “A short time later the male became unconscious and the officers began life saving measures until the arrival of paramedics. The male was transported to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead.”
No officers were hurt during the incidence. No further details were released.
The Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner will conduct an autopsy.
The investigation is being handled by the sheriff’s department.
NORWALK >> A man died of unknown causes after being detained by two witnesses, then taken into custody by sheriff’s deputies following an erratic display of behavior that included climbing into passing vehicle late Saturday, authorities said.
The incident unfolded just before 7 p.m. in the area of Firestone Boulevard and Studebaker Road, according to Deputy Kimberly Alexander of the Los Angeles County sheriff’s Information Bureau.
The identity of the man was not released Sunday pending positive identification and notification of family members, Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner Investigator Rudy Molano said.
The string of events began in the 11700 block of Studebaker road, “where the suspect entered one occupied parked vehicle and attempted to enter a second occupied vehicle,” Alexander said in a written statement.
The man then ran south toward Firestone Boulevard and jumped into the bed of an occupied pickup truck, she said.
“The suspect fell out of the truck bed and entered a local business wearing only his shirt and underwear,” she said. “The two good Samaritans noticed the suspect’s erratic behavior and detained him until the deputies’ arrival.”
Deputies arrived to find the two men still detaining the suspect in front of the business, a Chuck E. Cheese’s pizza parlor, Lt. Robin Limon of the sheriff’s Norwalk Station said.
“The deputies began to take custody of the suspect when he became unconscious,” Alexander said. “Deputies immediately began cardiopulmonary resuscitation and the suspect was transported to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead.”
Deputies were not involved in any significant struggle with the suspect while taking him into custody, officials said.
Coroner’s officials are investigating his cause of death.
Anyone with information can reach the sheriff’s Homicide Bureau, which is spearheading the investigation, at 323-890-5500. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.
PASADENA >> Police on Sunday identified the six Pasadena police officers involved in subduing and arresting a man who ultimately died in police custody late last month, contradicting claims by the man’s family’s attorney that one of the involved officers was the same who was involved in the controversial police shooting of an unarmed 19-year-old man in 2012.
A wrongful death claim filed Friday against Pasadena police by attorney Caree Harper named two Pasadena police officers — Officer Mathew Griffin and Sgt. Aguilar, whose first name was not listed — as being involved in the arrest of Reginald Thomas Jr., 35, of Pasadena early on Sept. 29 at an apartment in the 200 block of East Orange Grove Blvd. Griffin was one of two officers who was involved in the March, 2012, shooting of Kendrec McDade.
But in a written statement issued Sunday, Pasadena police released the identities of six officers the department who “took part in the altercation” with Thomas. Neither of the two officers named in the wrongful death claim were present, according to police.
The involved officers were identified as: Officer Thomas Butler, Officer Robert Griffith, Officer Michael Orosco, Officer Phillip Poirer, Officer Raphael Santiago and Officer Aaron Villacana.
One of the two officers involved in the McDade shooting arrived on the scene after Thomas had already been detained, but it was Officer Jeffrey Newlen, not Mathew Griffin, police said.
“After Mr. Thomas had been restrained, Officer Jeffrey Newlen arrived at the location and assisted with CPR,” according to the police statement.
Pasadena Police Phillip Sanchez could not be reached for comment over the weekend.
Harper maintained her position.
“We stand behind several eye witness statements which place Officer Griffin and Sgt. Aguilar inside the apartment. We also stand behind the videotape clip that appears to be Griffin,” she said.
“Unless Chief Sanchez discloses the identity of the officer depicted in the photo and provides a specific denial that Griffin and Aguilar were not involved, we have no reason to question eyewitness’ account at this time,” she said.
Thomas died after being shocked with Tasers and taken into custody after confronting officer with a knife and a fire extinguisher, according to Los Angeles County sheriff’s detectives, who are spearheading the investigation into Thomas’ death. Police responded to calls from the home reporting that Thomas was armed with a knife, acting strangely and apparently under the influence of drugs.
Harper alleges that police punched, kicked and struck Thomas in the head and upper body with batons and “hogtied” him before he stopped breathing, causing his death. Thomas officials cause of death has not been released by coroner’s investigators, and details of the coroner’s investigation are being withheld due to a “security hold” placed on the normally public information by sheriff’s investigators.
Sheriff’s investigators said Thomas was not beaten, and that although his wrists were handcuffed and his ankled tied together, he was never hogtied with his wrists and ankles linked.
Police also disputed the allegation set forth in the wrongful death claim that police delayed providing CPR to Thomas, as well as calling in paramedics to help.
“Upon restraining Mr. Thomas, the officers observed him not breathing, at which time, they immediately began CPR and life-saving measures,” according to the police statement.
Detectives from the sheriff’s Homicide Bureau are investigating the in-custody death, along with simultaneous investigations by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office, the Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner and Pasadena police administrators.
*UPDATED with comment from attorney Caree Harper
IRWINDALE >> A man died Saturday after police took him into custody with the use of a Taser while responding to reports he was acting strangely along Ramona Boulevard, officials said.
The incident began about 3:30 p.m. when officers responded to a gas station in Baldwin Park along Ramona Boulevard at the 605 Freeway after someone reported the man was lying on the sidewalk, Baldwin Park Police and Los Angeles County Sheriff’s officials said.
The man, who was reported to be in his 40s, was calm when officers arrived but witnesses directed them to a parking lot across the street.
“When officers arrived, they were told that the suspect had stolen a large American flag and flag pole from a gas station and had been swinging it at cars and people in the area,” deputy Crystal Hernandez of the Sheriff’s Information Bureau said.