Man tries to break into woman’s home, fights police, dies in custody

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FULLERTON (CNS) – A 22-year-old man seen on security video breaking down the door of a woman’s home in Fullerton and entering died at a hospital after being taken into custody by police following a struggle that injured three officers.

Officers responded at 5:22 p.m. Monday to a disturbance call reporting a man who was acting erratically and yelling at people as they walked in the 200 block of Kellogg Drive. As police officers arrived, the man rushed them, and the officers fired less-than-lethal rounds at him, striking him in the upper body, although with no effect, said Lt. Jon Radus of the Fullerton Police Department.

The man, whose identity was not released, continued to rush officers, who then used their tasers on him, but those also had no effect and he continued to rush officers and a fight ensued in which three officers were injured, Radus said.

Officers were able to place the man in handcuffs, but he continued to be violent and uncooperative, Radus said. Video from the scene showed six officers needed to subdue the man, who continued to struggle with officers while on the ground.

Paramedics were called to take the man to a hospital, but he continued to fight with medical personnel and they contacted the hospital and were granted permission to administer a sedative in order to calm him down, Radus said. The male calmed down and was placed in an ambulance and taken to a local hospital.

While on the way to a hospital, the man stopped breathing in the ambulance and paramedics began CPR and continued to do so until they reached the hospital, where emergency room staff continued life-saving measures, but the man was later pronounced dead, Radus said.

One officer suffered injuries to his face, another suffered an injury to her neck, and the third an injury to his stomach, Radus said. All were treated and released.

Police later learned that about 4 p.m., the man tried to break into a woman’s home, he said.

The woman, who was home alone and did not know the suspect, could be heard screaming as the man repeatedly punched and kicked the door, then made his way into the home before running out a few seconds later, Radus said.

The suspect was also involved in an altercation with Fullerton firefighters on Feb. 2 in the area of Magnolia and Valencia, Radus said. The man jumped in front of a fire engine and tried to fight with firefighters as they left the scene of an incident at the location. He was found to be in possession of methamphetamine and held for a mental evaluation and taken to a hospital.

“As is standard practice for any in-custody death involving Fullerton Police Officers, the Orange County District Attorney’s Office was contacted and investigators responded for an independent investigation of the circumstances leading up to the in-custody death,” Radus said.

Anyone with information about this incident, and the other incidents mentioned, is urged to contact the Fullerton Police Crimes Against Persons Unit at (714) 738-6776. Those wishing to provide information anonymously can call Orange County Crime Stoppers at (855) 847-6227 or visit www.p3tips.com/913.

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