Man dies after running naked through Little Italy, struggle with police

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SAN DIEGO -- A naked man who was running in and out of traffic in Little Italy late Friday evening died in police custody after a struggle with officers.

Police responded around 11 p.m. to calls of a naked man who appeared to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs running in the street and yelling for help in the 600 block of West Grape Street, according to Lt. Matt Dobbs of the San Diego Police Department.

Witnesses told investigators the first officer on scene was able to place the man in handcuffs, but as the officer attempted to move him out of the street, the man began struggling with the officer, who was able to take him to the ground, but was having trouble controlling him, Dobbs said.

Two bystanders rushed to help the officer hold the man until backup arrived, Dobbs said.

The man went into medical distress and officers provided medical aid until paramedics arrived and took over, he said. The man was transported to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead just before midnight, Dobbs said.

Police didn't release the man's identity. No officers or civilians involved in the incident sustained significant injuries.

Anyone with information regarding this incident was asked to call the SDPD Homicide Unit at (619) 531-2293 or Crime Stoppers at (888) 580-8477.

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