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Naked man dies after being subdued by deputies in Lakewood

A man who authorities say was running naked through the streets of Lakewood died after Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies used pepper spray and Tasers to subdue him, officials said today.

Deputies responded to a disturbance call in the 5700 block of Silva Street about 10:15 p.m. Saturday when they encountered the victim. The man, whose name was not released, was irrational and belligerent, and advanced on an undisclosed number of deputies in a threatening manner as they tried to calm him down, according to Deputy Richard Li, a Sheriff’s Department spokesman.

Shortly after the man was handcuffed, Li said, deputies determined that he was not breathing; they administered CPR until paramedics arrived. The man was transported to an unidentified local hospital, where he died.

Sheriff’s homicide detectives were dispatched to the scene to investigate, Li said.

— Christine Hanley

Comments () | Archives (38)

This does not surprise me. Somehow in Los Angeles it seems fair that the LAPD can kill the mentally ill and get away with it every time. Money should be spent training officers to recognize and communicate with the mentally ill without having to kill them. This sickens me. Aren't we more than this?

Wasserstein sounds like a liberal pantywaist. It's so easy for you to complain about the mistreatment of irrational people when they are NOT running naked on the street where YOU live. So easy, isn't it?

You are quick in your judgement of blaming LAPD. Lakewood is not even in LAPD jurisdiction. The article even states it was the Sheriffs.

Donna and Cal: You are both irrational opposite ends of the spectrum. Yes, it's true that many police and sheriff departments have poor training and procedures for dealing with those who are dangerously mentally ill. But as the unnamed poster pointed out, LAPD wasn't even involved, so jumping to obviously false conclusions and finger-pointing doesn't help the situation. Not to mention that the information in the article seems to imply that the suspect was menacing and violent, and we have no reason to assume we know to what degree the force they used was warranted or necessary. As for Cal, you make it sound as if you are being plagued by an army of naked psychopaths running through your neighborhood on a regular basis. And you used the epithet "panty-waist" which makes it obvious that you are the kind of irrational person who gets his social and political views from John Wayne movies. You both need to grow up.

Ms. Wasserstein's comments are so tremendously ignorant it is difficult to fathom and calls into question her own mental stability.

First, as the other poster noted, this was not LAPD. That, however, is not important. What is important is Ms. Wasserstein's complete ignorance of the extensive training officers are provided regarding dynamic situations, such a confronting a mentally ill person, who presents a threat, either to himself or others.

If you are of the belief that officers respond to such scenarios with a harm first mentality, you are uneducated in police tactics, ignorant of reality, and.. well.. just plain stupid.

An officer's primary duty is to ensure safety for all citizens. Mentally ill people can be quite dangerous. For example, an unarmed mentally ill person that charges an officer and is not subdued can very easily garner that officer's gun. Then you have a mentally ill person with a gun. How safe do you think your fellow citizens are now?

Thus, the use of NON-LETHAL force, as the article explained. Did you read of any shots fired? Of course not. That is because the officers were perfectly trained to meet the threat level with the appropriate response of force, in this case non-lethal (tasers and pepper spray).

The suspect unfortunately passed away but that is far from the officers' fault.

Oh, and when some deranged person is trampling through your house, go ahead and handle it yourself. Good luck.

if you have a police force who can't subdue a naked man without killing him, i think you have a serious problem.


You need to take reading comprehension lessons. In no part of this article is LAPD even mentioned so why are you blaming them? A normal person does not run down the street naked and challenge Deputies, so chances are that he was on drugs. Most likely something along the lines of medical issues or drugs will be the cause of this death and not the Deputies.

Any further research needed to do away with these god awful things.

Cal, please don't use Donna's unthinking comment to discredit all liberals. Most of us recognize that cops often face situations where they have to make tough choices, and I, for one, refuse to rush to judgment here.

Get a clue Wasser! In the story line and in the article it says "deputies" and Sheriff's. Not the same, although there is usually a cover up anyways there is nothing to suggest that a person running naked shouldn't have been tased bro.

"If you don't understand it, kill it!" How threatening can a emotionally distraught naked person be against Taesers?

who said this man was mentally ill? the article doesn't say that this man was mentally ill.

why do we automatically assume that a person who runs down a street is mentally ill.

our great, great, great, great ancestors probably did it everyday.

Law Enforcement seems unable to distinguish or ignores, someone acting irrationally and mentally dysfunctional, with someone who is intentionally aggressive and fully aware. If a person cannot understand commands and responds irresponsibly, there is a distinction. Recognizing it, can save, pepper spray, Taser and even, human life. Back off, protect yourselves and others, get professional intervention and realize the tragic result of the way this was handled, could have been different.

THANK YOU FRO RUINING MY SUNDAY ..... knowing in this modern age of technology and wasted studies on everything ... that there is No Compassion for the mentally challenged ... being nake i doubt he had a weapon and was no real physical threat to the macho neo nazi law enforcement Bruts ... you must be so proud of yourselves .. why don;t you go fter the killers and the threat to others and not using your badge to commit murder of a lost soul who probably meant tno real harm and was just acting out looking for help ....
why didn't you just water board him ....

Everybody here seems to be debating whether or not the Sheriff's Dept. TRIED to kill him. Obviously they didn't. THEY WERE NEGLIGENT.
As a R.N. who has worked in ER's all over L.A. County, and now works in an I.C.U., I couldn't possibly count the number of times police seriously injure someone they are trying to arrest.
Most likely, the suspect had asthma, his cardiovascular and pulmonary (lungs) were already taxed, it's likely the S.D. put the pepper spray directly into his nostrils (deputies come from the jails-trust me, they do this all the time because it is extremely effective) and they easily put him into respiratory arrest. On the same token, if the suspect had a previous cardiac condition and got tasered it would easily put him into cardiac arrest, which also happens more frequently then is reported on.
It is a police officer's job to subdue and restrain suspects without harming them in any way. In the medical field we restrain people constantly that pose a danger to staff, other patients, or themselves and we do it without causing them any harm, otherwise we would be sued and charged with battery. Police should not be exempt from this rule. If the S.D. pepper sprayed him after he was already in hand cuffs, well then, the suspect's family has a serious lawsuit on their hands.
ONE MORE THING: there is nothing in the story that indicates definitely that the suspect was mentally ill, the description of behavior sounds more like a PCP high than anything else. People shouldn't die because they smoke too much PCP. Most people don't even know their marijuana is laced with it until they wake up in a hospital bed butt naked and really really sore.

Judging by his behavior, he was most likely on drugs of some kind. I wouldn't be surprised to hear that he died of afflictions relating to the drugs he was on and the effects of the taser. This would not be able to be foreseen by the police.

It's good to hear that they went with non-lethal methods. That makes me happy. Maybe that's because they weren't from the LAPD. If he was in Los Angeles I'm sure he would have been shot like 30 times.

Honestly, I'm glad that they did use non-lethal weapons. The guy still died but let's wait for the autopsy before jumping to conclusions. At least they didn't riddle him with bullet holes.

I agree that if the sherriff can't subdue a naked man there is a problem. On top of this, it was a man in his prime, a good man that I know and reading some of these comments are bothersome. You can't judge without knowing the facts. Keep in mind that family and friends are just finding out about this and are in shock.

Police Agencies all around the world, protect the public by killing the threat. If human life is so cheap, why kill to protect other humans? Who decides who is worth living? Many times it is the Police. Many times they are the judge, jury and executioner.
As an ex investigator, I have personal experience in looking into police shootings and police brutality. It does not seem to matter until it is your relative or loved one who is killed at the hands of the police, then the reality of this ugliness hits home.

What a retarded debate. Nobody has any idea why he died. Odds are it was his heart or the felonious drugs he was on...eg PCP. Either way, it sure wasn't the fault of the deputies who were putting their lives on the line while Donna and her ilk were sipping lattes in Santa Monica (where, as stated, they don't let drug addicts run naked down the street either). Get a clue, sweetpea.

Some of you people are clueless and living in a fantasy world.

A person running through the streets naked at 10pm is an indicator of someone under the influence of PCP. And if you ever dealt with anyone on PCP, you know how dangerous they are. Clearly, there are other factors that have not been determined yet (ie alcohol and drugs in system).

So get out in the hood once in a while, you might learn something.

Feel me?

Here we go again! Fantatics blaming the Police, the Sheriffs, should have, could have~no responsiblitly from the "lunatic" who posed a danger to not only the Public but the officers~ well let me tell you: I appreciate our police our sheriffs and those who keep us safe! For those of you who love those out of control, beastly human beings threatening our hard working officers and jeopordizing their personal lives (families) on a day to day basis~please move to MEXICO~you can really rant and rave there~if you want to talk about injustice on the streets! How dare you be so blindsighted~I never want to meet one of you~and god help me I would be bleeding on the street from any injury I am sure you would be the most cowardly of all~sympathizing with whoever did this heinous crime to me! Who raised you anyway? Why don't you all offer your services as "Foster Morons!"

Another careless and unjustified killing by poorly trained and brain dead police.

I cannot believe this!! No one knows what the actual situation is.I personally know this person and I know for a FACT he is NOT mentally ILL!!! I only have a little more information about this person(my friend) and the truth will soon come out.Not to mention this man has a family!This is a LAWSUIT in process!! At least I hope it will be.I'm keeping my prayers with your family C.God bless you C and your Family! May you rest in peace!

Those dumb cops should have used sticky glue or sound waves or a capture net.....guess they will be rioting in Lakewood.

Great more ACLU and liberals will come out against the police. Don't morons understand that when someone is NAKED outside in public they are usually under the influence of DRUGS? Drugs does very bad things to the human body and organs. If the cops didn't show up, this doped up idiot still probably would have died. Anyone heard of death by overdose or drugs? Like every person who died from an OD were tasered and pepper sprayed as well.

What loss is there to society from these drug addicts dying?

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