Los Angeles: Last week, Los Angeles Police Department officers arrested a burglary suspect who was chased by citizens to a residence. Six days following the arrest, the suspect died at a local hospital. Just after 6 p.m. on May 11, 2011, LAPD Foothill Area officers received two separate radio calls which they later realized were related.
One of the calls was for a burglary at an automotive shop and the other was about a man causing a disturbance at a residence in the 10600 block of Tamarack Avenue.
Arriving at the Tamarack address, the officers determined the calls concerned the same suspect. Minutes before the officers’ arrival, the burglary suspect had apparently committed a theft at the automotive shop and was then chased by local citizens to the Tamarack residence. At the residence, officers saw the suspect, 32-year-old Victor Preciado of Van Nuys, attempting to manipulate and open the front door of the residence. He appeared to be under the influence of narcotics and was holding what looked like a knife (later determined to be a pair of garden shears).
Officers ordered Preciado in English and Spanish to drop his weapon but he refused. Consequently, officers used a less-lethal beanbag shotgun, striking the suspect several times and eventually causing him to drop his weapon. He was then taken into custody without further resistance. A Los Angeles Fire Department ambulance arrived and took Preciado to a local hospital for medical evaluation. While at the hospital, Preciado went into a coma and died on May 17.
The cause of his death has not yet been determined. As required for all in-custody deaths, the Department’s Force Investigation Division has responded and is conducting an investigation.