San Diego Police are investigating the death of a man after they received a call about someone acting erratically in the area of Middletown on Sunday.
At around 1:30 p.m. police arrived at Sassafras Street and Columbia Street near downtown because people called to report a man who was acting erratically by jumping on top of cars and vandalizing at least one. Police say the man took off his clothes and was only wearing a shirt and socks when they arrived.
Amy Blackhurst, a nurse of 20 years, saw the incident happen in front of her house on Sassafras Street.
“It was obvious he was on some kind of medication, drugs, or something,” Blackhurst said. "He was just physically agitated, rolling around in the road. Then he jumped on the black car (a Nissan Altima) up here, and started rolling around in the black car, kicked it, broke the windshield.”
The man was already down in the street when police arrived.
“When police arrived he had already laid down on his stomach…. and I said, 'Please be careful when you approach him, he’s on something.' And when somebody is on drugs, certain drugs, they’re very, very strong,” Blackhurst said.
They put him in handcuffs for his own safety and realized he was not moving. Police then took off the handcuffs and began CPR. A doctor who lived nearby helped in the lifesaving effort, but the man was later pronounced dead at the scene, police said.
“The police were amazing. With everything that’s going on in our world, we saw absolute professionalism, but not just professionalism, absolute compassion,” Blackhurst said.
SDPD homicide detectives arrived at the scene, but police say this is not a homicide investigation.
"Because police were on the scene it was initially considered to be an in-custody death, but the fact that the male was already down and he had medical distress before officers even arrived, we are still continuing with the investigation because we already started it but otherwise we will not be out here. This is not a homicide," said SDPD Lt. Andra Brown.
The man has not been identified but is described as a Black man in his mid-30s. Brown said the man did have a piece of paper in his clothing with identifying information but have yet to verify the information.
The investigation is ongoing. Police are interviewing witnesses at the scene. Police do not know if the man was under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Anyone with information regarding this incident can call the Homicide Unit at 619-531-2293 or Crime Stoppers at 888-580-8477.
No other information was available.
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