The Chula Vista Police Department is investigating the in-custody death of a man who died at a hospital more than 12 hours after he was arrested.
CVPD said Jason Watts, 29 of Spring Valley, died at UCSD Medical Center Saturday afternoon. Watts was arrested around midnight after he got into a physical altercation with officers at a 7-Eleven store on Third Avenue.
Officers responded to the store at around 11:45 p.m. after the clerk and another witness reported Watts refused to leave the store and appeared to be under the influence of a substance. CVPD said Watts also called them and reported that people outside the store were threatening to shoot him.
When confronted by officers inside the store, Watts allegedly ran behind the counter and ignored officers’ commands. Officers attempted to talk to Watts and calm him before he punched a register and picked it up as if he was going to throw it at them, CVPD said.
At that point, officers deployed pepper spray and stun guns. A physical altercation ensued and officers eventually took Watts into custody for assaulting an officer.
According to police, Watts was taken to Paradise Valley Hospital and was deemed “suitable for incarceration” after evaluation by medical staff.
“While being booked into the San Diego County Central Detention Facility, further evaluations indicated Watts may need additional medical treatment,” CVPD said.
Watts was then transported to UCSD Medical Center where he suffered further medical complications, according to CVPD. He was pronounced dead at the hospital from unconfirmed causes at 12:21 p.m.
CVPD’s Crimes of Violence unit is investigating Watts’ death, and the department said it would be working with the District Attorney’s office and the county Medical Examiner’s office.