For the second time since October, the Davis Police Department had a subject that they had taken into custody die on the scene.
Davis Police Deputy Chief Ton Pham told the Vanguard that, on Friday morning at 5:20 am, the police dispatch received a call about a naked man, a white male, believed to be in his late 40s, running around the Pacifico student housing cooperative. The man was running around, disturbing people and believed to be under the influence of drugs.
When the officers arrived on scene, they located him, handcuffed him and “without any struggle or use of force” took him into custody. He immediately began having difficulty breathing. Medical personnel were on the scene and began immediately administering CPR. He was transported to Sutter Davis Hospital where he was pronounced dead at 7:20 am.
Dep. Chief Pham reiterated, “He did not resist being handcuffed, we didn’t have to do any force.”
This is the second in-custody death in Davis since October. David Elwood Shurtz, Jr., 54, of Sacramento died when being taken into custody at La Quinta Inn in South Davis back on October 15.
In that incident, Mr. Shurtz was screaming and yelling in his hotel room, and the police arrived to find him yelling that he needed help and heard the sounds of items breaking inside his room. He also made statements that led officers to believe there was a gun in the room and there may have been another person in the room.
The coroner’s office has released the cause of death for Mr. Shurtz as “sudden cardio-respiratory arrest during physical altercation with police officers due to excited delirium due to acute methamphetamine intoxication.”
Sources tell the Vanguard that Daivd Shurtz had massive levels of meth in his system. His conduct at the scene and his refusal to cooperate led to a breach of the hotel door by the police, a confrontation ensued and the individual violently resisted being taken into custody. Police used a Taser on him and shortly after being restrained, he stopped breathing.
Despite medical personnel already being staged on the scene and being able to quickly perform life-saving measures, the individual died.
The current incident is different. This individual, while exhibiting chaotic behavior at the time of the police call, did not resist arrest. However, he too stopped breathing and required medical attention that ultimately was unsuccessful at saving his life.
Dep. Chief Pham said that the police could not release his name until the coroner’s investigation had been completed. However, he did confirm he was a resident at Pacifico.
—David M. Greenwald reporting