Calif. karate instructor died during class, officials say

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ARVIN, Calif. (KERO) — According to the Arvin Police Department, a 65-year-old karate instructor died during a class on Thursday evening.

A witness told authorities that a student was applying a “carotid” hold on Craig Garrett, who has been identified by his life-long friend, during a class demonstration at Bear Mountain Elementary’s cafeteria.

Leonard Rodriguez told 23ABC that he is a life-long friend of Garrett’s and that there was no choke-hold involved leading up to his death.

“You cant choke him out,” Rodriguez explained. “He’s 6 ft 2 and he’s been doing it for 45 years, so there’s no way you could choke him. There was no choke-hold involved it was scrappling,”

Witnesses said they called 911 and when officers arrived they found Garrett un-responsive and immediately began CPR. The Kern County Fire Department and Halls Ambulance attempted to revive the instructor. Garret was pronounced dead around 9:20 p.m.

Rodriguez told 23ABC that the Garrett did have heart problems.

An investigation is ongoing.

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