On Monday, Feb 11 at 5:22pm Fullerton Police responded to an anonymous call to the 200 block of S. Kellog Dr. regarding a 22-year-old male who was reportedly acting erratically and yelling at people as they walked by.
Upon arrival officers recognized the male from similar previous calls -including one earlier in the day around 3:48pm when the man’s father called police asking for help because his son was being disruptive. That call ended with police talking to the male and his family and the family advising police that they did not want anything further done.
When police returned to the house on the 5:22pm call the 22-year-old was yelling in the street and as they approached began to rush the officers. Officers fired 40 millimeter less-lethal “sponge gun” rounds at the man striking him in the upper body. The rounds had no effect and the man continued to rush at them. Then three police officers each deployed their tasers, also with no effect, and a physical fight ensued. The officers were able to place the man into handcuffs, but he continued to be uncooperative.
Paramedics arrived to take the man to the hospital for medical clearance as is standard practice with taser deployments. But because he continued to fight, Paramedics contacted the receiving hospital and were granted permission to administer a sedative in order to calm him down. He then calmed down and was placed in an ambulance.
While en route to the hospital, the male stopped breathing. Paramedics began life saving measures and continued to do so until they reached the hospital. Once at the hospital Emergency Room staff took over administering life-saving measures that were unsuccessful – and the 22-year-old was pronounced dead.
The three officers were treated and released for injuries received in the fight to handcuff the man.
As is standard for any in-custody death involving officers the OC District Attorney Investigators responded and are investigating the circumstances leading up to the death.
It was found that earlier in the day, about 20 minutes before police responded to the first call made by the man’s father, the 22-year-old was captured on the CCTV system of a home in the 200 block of S. Kellog Dr. punching and kicking the front door of the residence where a female adult was home alone. She did not know the suspect, and he eventually broke her door down while she screamed for help and entered her home. He then left without further incident.
In another previous incident on Saturday, February 2, Fullerton Fire was in the area of Magnolia and Valencia for a matter unrelated to the 22-year-old. As Firefighters left the scene the 22-year-old jumped in front of the Fire Engine and attempted to fight the Firefighters. Fullerton Police were called and detained the male for possession of methamphetamine and he was ultimately transported to the hospital on a mental health evaluation.
The 22-year-old’s identity will be released by the OC Coroner when appropriate. Anyone with information is asked to call the Fullerton Police at (714) 738-6776 or provide information anonymously by calling OC Crime Stoppers at 1(855) TIP-OCCS.
Fullerton Mayor Jesus Silva Responds:
“As Mayor, I want to express my condolences to the family of the young man who died earlier this week en route to the hospital while in the custody of the Fullerton Police Department,” stated Fullerton Mayor Jesus Silva.
“I am committed to ensuring that this incident is fully investigated. The Office of the Orange County District Attorney has already begun its investigation, the results of which will be released upon completion. Furthermore, I have asked the Chief of Police to diligently review this incident, including any body-worn camera video, for compliance with the Fullerton Police Department’s standards and protocols. We all mourn the loss of a community member, and I ask for your patience as we thoroughly examine this situation.”