In Custody Death Investigation

February 20, 2009

Los Angeles:  Officers and a private security guard detained a theft suspect, who later died despite emergency treatment by rescue ambulance personnel.

On February 18, 2009 at about 5:05 p.m., Officers Joseph Broussard, an 8-year veteran with the Department, and Esmeralda Ruiz, who has 8 months with the Department, responded to a radio call of a theft / battery “suspect at the CVS Pharmacy at 3751 Wilshire Blvd.”  When the officers arrived at the location, they were directed into the store.  Officers saw the suspect, lying face down on the ground, handcuffed and being restrained by a private security guard.

As officers began to talk to employees and the security guard to find out what the circumstances were, they determined that the suspect had stopped breathing.  The officers immediately removed the suspect’s handcuffs and rolled him over onto his back.  They requested an ambulance and began CPR.  

The Los Angeles Fire Department medical personnel arrived and transported the suspect to a local area hospital where he was pronounced dead.

No force was used by the officers and no officers were injured.

Force Investigation Division personnel responded and are conducting an In Custody Death investigation.