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News Release

Friday, February 12, 2010

Media Relations

Man Dies in Police Custody

Los Angeles: Yesterday morning, 46-year-old Delbert Eugene Wormwood died while he was in the custody of the Los Angeles Police Department Northeast Division.

On February 11, 2010, at around 4:24 a.m., police officers were dispatched to a radio call of a man running possibly under the influence of narcotics, in the area of Santa Monica Boulevard and Fountain Avenue.  The intersection is the border line between Northeast and Rampart Divisions.

The responding officers saw a man later identified as Delbert Eugene Wormwood walking southbound in the middle of the street on Vermont Avenue towards Santa Monica Boulevard waving his arms back and forth.  Wormwood appeared to be under the influence of narcotics and continued to walk across Santa Monica Boulevard failing to heed the officer’s directions to get out of the street.  Additional officers arrived to assist the responding officers in directing Wormwood to the ground.  After several attempts Wormwood sat down on the street and laid down on his back.  The officers approached and placed handcuffs on him.  He then began to flail his legs and a hobble restraint device was used.  Wormwood was then placed on his side and appeared to be unresponsive.  Officers immediately removed the hobble restraint and there was no force used in taking Wormwood into custody.

The Los Angeles Fire Department Paramedics responded and began resuscitative efforts.  Paramedics transported Wormwood to a local hospital where he failed to respond to treatment and was pronounced dead.

Because Wormwood was in the custody of the LAPD when he died, Force Investigation Division has assumed primary responsibility for the investigation.

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