In Custody Death Under Investigation

June 18, 2001

Los Angeles – On Sunday, June 17, 2001 at approximately 11:20 a.m., Central Patrol Division Police Officers received a radio call regarding a mentally disturbed man at the Pershing Hotel located at 502 South Main Street. The officers were trained as a Crisis Intervention Team ("CIT") to deal with the mentally disabled and were aware that the Pershing Hotel is a state sponsored mental and drug assistance facility.
Upon their arrival, the officers spoke to a counselor at the facility who stated that earlier that morning he found a resident of the Hotel on the roof wearing only his underwear and covered with abrasions and blood. The counselor also advised the officers that the resident was diagnosed as Bi-Polar Schizophrenic and had not been taking his medication. The counselor had taken the resident off the roof and was waiting to speak to the officers. The officers interviewed the resident. He was somewhat unintelligible but stated that he fell. Subsequent investigation revealed blood on the facility’s roof. The roof was tiered, with approximate six-foot drops to each tier. The officers summoned Los Angeles City Fire Department Paramedics, who examined the resident and determined that no emergency medical treatment was necessary.
Following the investigation and interview, the officers transported the resident to Central Police Station where he interviewed by the watch commander. The Mental Evaluation Unit was contacted and a decision was made to transport the resident to Los Angeles County USC Medical Center Emergency Room for treatment for his injuries, and then to the Mental Evaluation Unit for a 72-hour hold. The resident was cooperative throughout his interactions with the officers.
Upon arrival to the hospital, the resident lost consciousness. He was taken to the emergency room where he was pronounced dead at 1:15 p.m. The identity of the resident is being withheld pending notification of his next of kin.
This investigation is being conducted by Detective Holcomb and M. Rodriguez from the Critical Incident Investigation Division.
This press release was prepared by Police Officer Guillermo Campos, Media Relations Section, 213-485-3586.