SAN DIEGO — Police Wednesday were investigating the death of a 24- year-old man who was stricken by an apparent medical crisis during a struggle with Metropolitan Transit System officers while being detained at a transit station in downtown San Diego.
San Diego police received a request for help around 6:15 p.m. Tuesday from an MTS dispatcher who reported that a man was fighting with a code compliance officer on the Amtrak Coaster platform near Santa Fe Depot on Kettner Boulevard north of Broadway, San Diego police Lt. Matt Dobbs said.
When officers arrived, they found that a code compliance officer and an MTS security officer had handcuffed the man, who appeared to be in medical distress on the ground, Dobbs said.
Paramedics responded and took the man to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead. His name was withheld pending family notification.
Witnesses and MTS employees told investigators that the man had been “acting erratically” at the train station and was possibly under the influence of an unknown substance, the lieutenant said.
“The male was initially contacted when his behavior led the code compliance officer to believe he might walk in front of a trolley or train,” Dobbs said in a statement.
When the MTS employees attempted to detain the man, he ran about 100 yards before surrendering, the lieutenant said.
“After being handcuffed, he began struggling with the MTS employees and was taken to the ground, at which time they called for assistance from SDPD,” Dobbs said. “The witnesses did not see any use of force by the MTS employees other than trying to hold the male down on the ground as he kicked and screamed.”
Detectives from the SDPD homicide unit were investigating the death.