Man Dies in Apparent 4-Story Fall at Rolando Apartments

San Diego Police Department homicide detectives called the circumstances surrounding the man’s death “suspicious”

A man apparently fell four stories to his death early Saturday at an apartment complex in San Diego’s Rolando.

San Diego Police Department (SDPD) Lt. Mike Holden, of the Homicide Unit, said the circumstances of the man’s death are considered “suspicious.”

At around 2:50 a.m., the police department received a call reporting a man hurt near an apartment building in the 4600 block of 63rd Street. The man had apparently fallen from his apartment -- a unit located on the 4th floor of the building.

When officers arrived at the complex, they found the 25-year-old man unconscious in the courtyard. He was bleeding from a severe head injury, Holden said.

The man was rushed to a local hospital, but he died shortly thereafter.

Liberty Zabala
The courtyard of the apartment complex in Rolando where a man fell to his death on Feb. 4.

The SDPD’s Homicide Unit is handling the case due to the suspicious nature of the man’s death. The victim’s name has not yet been released.

Hours later, investigators remained at the scene collecting evidence.

Holden said two people were arrested at the complex Friday night; somehow, those people are connected to the victim. Holden said the victim had outstanding warrants for his arrest.

One of the people arrested lived in the apartment with the victim, the lieutenant confirmed. Holden could not release additional details, as the investigation is ongoing. The names of the people who were arrested were also not immediately released.

Sydney Feese, who lives at the apartment complex, said she heard a thud and when she walked onto her balcony and looked down into the courtyard, she saw the victim unresponsive on the ground.

"I heard a person yelling, 'Call 911.' My boyfriend was with me and he said he heard those same voices yelling, 'He fell off the balcony," Feese recounted.

Feese said she saw three men rush to the victim's aid, trying to help him while they called the police.

NBC 7 spoke with other Rolando residents who said the apartment complex is heavily occupied by college students and tends to attract a lot of college-age visitors.

Neighbor William Hintzman said there are a lot of parties at the complex and drinking and rowdy behavior are frequent occurrences at the building.

“I’m not exactly surprised. It’s unfortunate that it happened but there’s a lot of drinking going on, a lot of partying [at this complex],” he told NBC 7. “These are young people who are away from home, away from their parents, away from normal constraints – and this sudden freedom, it seems to affect some of them to excess.”

Kelly Verakis has lived at the building since the beginning of San Diego State University's fall semester. She also said the complex hosts a lot of college students.

“There’s always partying and reckless behavior inside and around the complex,” she explained, adding that it’s sad to this behavior can lead to such a devastating outcome.

Resident and college student Saba Abri described the atmosphere of her apartment building as "light, fun and playful," due to how many students live there. She said this incident is tragic.

"It's very, very sad incident, and it doesn't deserve to happen to anyone," Abri added.

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