Man dies in encounter with San Diego police

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SAN DIEGO – A man died Sunday after police were called to the scene of someone screaming, undressing and vandalizing cars in the Middletown neighborhood.

According to the San Diego Police Dept., officers were dispatched to the area of Columbia Street near Sassafras Street upon the report of a man acting erratically, jumping on cars, screaming and taking off his clothes.

Arriving officers saw the man down in the street, put him in handcuffs, then noticed he was not breathing, according to police. They took the handcuffs off and began performing CPR on him, but he died, the station said.

“There were several times during the witness statements we got that he was up, he was down, he was dancing around, laying down, standing up, disrobing,” San Diego police Lt. Andra Brown said. “Just because he was down โ€” he’d previously been down and gotten back up โ€” the officers don’t know what he’s going to do.”

Emily Effner, a neighbor near where the incident took place, said the death is “definitely a tragedy.”

“I’m always concerned with mental health and homelessness,” Effner said. “It’s an issue I wish was really pertinent to our city.”

Officers have not yet publicly identified the man. Homicide detectives are investigating the incident.

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