The Antioch Police Department is investigating the death of an individual that occurred just after midnight Wednesday morning on James Donlon near Lone Tree Way.
Police have not yet released any information on the incident, however, drugs appear to be involved or a contributing factor given the NARCAN box in the roadway. Early indications are that a struggle occurred at some point in the night, however, its unclear if this was between two subjects fighting or if the subject was in police custody.
No information has been provided on this incident and no details have been released as to when the roadway will be reopened.
UPDATE – Chief Brooks Highlights Incident During Press Conference
Chief Tammany Brooks highlighted the incident in question noting that officers received a call of a man rambling incoherently.
“During the course of the 9-1-1 call, another man could be heard with the man arguing over the possession of a phone. At one point during the call, there were sounds of a physical struggle. Around the same time, our dispatch center received a call that a Lyft driver activated a mobile alert needing police assistance with a subject who attempted to steal his cell phone and who had fled from his vehicle,” stated Brooks.
He highlighted two officers were sent to Lone Tree Way and Ridgerock Drive with very limited information after the man called a second time and gave his location.
“When officers arrived, the man (33 y/o Hispanic) appeared paranoid, yelling that they were not really police officers despite the fact that they were in fully marked APD police cars and in full uniform. The officers attempted to employ crisis negotiations tactics while attempting to deescalate the situation,” explained Brooks. “After a short time, the man ran into oncoming traffic onto Lone Tree Way. He attempted to enter a car that was stopped at a red light by pulling on door handle and pulling on the window yelling for the driver to let him inside. After nearly being struck by several vehicles, officers believed the man was putting himself, the public and officers in imminent danger and moved in in an effort to detain him.”
Brooks continued stating the man ran onto James Donlon Blvd where officers caught up with him where he lost his footing and fell onto the ground.
“A struggle ensued as officers tried to gain control of the man and get him out of the roadway as vehicles continued to pass by them. According to the officers, the man exhibited extraordinary strength and they were unable to gain control of his arms. A third officer arrived on scene and deployed his taser to allow them to overcome the mans resistance. Almost immediately after being able to get the man in handcuffs, he appeared to loose consciousness and the officers recognized this as a medical emergency,” stated Brooks.
Officers immediately began CPR, deployed a defibrillator and administered two doses of NARCAN explained Brooks.
“Based on the knowledge of facts based on the investigation thus far, I will share with you that no knee or other limb was ever applied to the mans neck during this incident, no use of pepper spray or impact weapons, no hand or leg strikes were used or the carotid restraint hold was never attempted,” stated Brooks further highlighted medical personnel arrived and took over care.
The man was taken to a local hospital where he was pronounced deceased.
“On behalf of the Antioch Police Department, I would like to convey my deepest sympathies to the mans friends and family,” stated Brooks. “I can share with you that our officers are completely devastated about what occurred last night. For that reason, we are making counselors available to our officers in order to navigate through the emotions this tragedy has created. The involved officers have been placed on paid administrative leave at this time as is customary in these types of situations. I realize that as devastated that we may feel, it does not compare to the pain felt by the family of the deceased.”
Brooks said the Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office is leading the investigation to ensure transparency and will have the full corporation of his staff. He further explained if officers were at fault, he would expect them to be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law.
There will also be an independent third-party investigation into this incident according to Brooks.
“Should there be any violation of Antioch Police Department policies, I can ensure the community I will hold these officers accountable for their actions,” stated Brooks. “Regardless of the outcome, these investigations will be available for public review once completed. It is important that our community understand and have the opportunity to review the facts and circumstances surrounding this incident and we are committed to open and transparent in this process.”
Brooks called today’s information preliminary and additional information may become available as the investigation continues and more information could be released in the future.
Brooks stated during the media portion of the press conference that he fully supports body cameras. He also confirmed he informed the Mayor of the incident after it happened.
Referring back to the December 23 in-custody death, Brooks confirmed that the Mayor was informed of the incident “later”, not that night, by someone in the police department—at that point, Thorpe objected saying he was not notified.