Santa Ana burglary suspect dies after struggle with police

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An investigation is underway Monday morning after a burglary suspect died following a struggle with police in Santa Ana. (KABC)

An investigation is underway Monday morning after a burglary suspect died following a struggle with police in Santa Ana.

Santa Ana police officers responded to an alarm call in the 2400 block of W. 1st Street at about 9 p.m. Sunday after a business owner reported a suspect was in the area of her engineering business.

As officers arrived, they saw a suspect climbing a fence from a business out on to 1st Street. Officers ran after the suspect and caught up with him in front of a liquor store.

Authorities said there was an altercation between the suspect and an officer, which spilled in and out of the liquor store, before a customer came over to assist. Soon after, another officer arrived, saw the altercation and helped the officer and customer involved in the struggle with the suspect, police said.

Witness Mike Jimenez, who believes this was not a case of excessive force, said he saw one officer use a baton to strike the suspect three times in the legs.

Investigators said the suspect started having shortness of breath after being taken into custody. He was transported to a hospital, where he later died.

The suspect, who officials believe was not armed at the time, has not been identified.

The altercation is under investigation. Officials said "force was used" but no shots were fired during the incident.

"They're going to try and collect all the video, they're going to interview the officers and then the autopsy, of course, will give them a lot of information -- whether this guy had some medical issues, whether this guy was under the influence of narcotics," said Santa Ana PD Cpl. Anthony Bertagna.
Related Topics:
burglarydeath investigationpoliceSanta AnaOrange County
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