Man who died after struggle with deputies outside Hobby Lobby identified

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

SAN DIEGO – Authorities released the name Wednesday of a Valley Center man who died last weekend following a struggle with deputies trying to arrest him for being disruptive and combative at a North County arts-and-crafts store.

Kristopher Michael Birtcher, 34, died at a hospital about 4:30 p.m. Saturday, less than an hour after getting into the violent confrontation with law enforcement personnel at the Hobby Lobby in the 500 block of Grand Avenue in San Marcos, according to sheriff’s officials.

Deputies responding to a report of a staggering, disoriented and seemingly intoxicated man at the business contacted Birtcher there about 3:45 p.m., Lt. Rich Williams said.

As the personnel spoke with him, Birtcher became defiant and aggressive, then tried to run off, Williams said. During an ensuing scuffle, one of the deputies zapped him with an electric stun gun. Despite the shock, Birtcher allegedly continued fighting and spitting at the deputies.

Believing that Birtcher might be suffering a drug overdose, the personnel injected him with naloxone, a medication that counteracts the effects of opioids.

They eventually managed to get Birtcher into custody, after which paramedics took him to a hospital. By the time the ambulance got there, Birtcher was in a state of dire medical distress. He died a short time later.

A cause-of-death ruling remained on hold Wednesday afternoon pending the results of postmortem toxicology tests, Williams said.

The sheriff’s personnel involved in the struggle with Birtcher have been identified as deputies Drew Beatty, Adrian Carrillo, Roland Garza, Joseph Kodadek, John Robledo, Scott Rossall, Frank Stalzer and Scott Winter. All eight work out of the San Marcos Sheriff’s Station, the lieutenant said.