Man dies after altercation with Fullerton Police Department

In Local News, News, Top Stories
The Fullerton Police Department is currently under investigation after the death of a man following an altercation.
(Eliza Green / Daily Titan)

A 23-year-old man died Monday night after a struggle with police officers and paramedics on the 200 block of S. Kellog Ave, according to a press release by the Fullerton Police Department.

The dead man was later identified as Daniel Espinoza, 23, a Fullerton resident, according to Lt. Jon Radus.

The incident occurred at 5:22 p.m. when officers arrived on scene and approached Espinoza, who was screaming on the street.

Authorities said Espinoza rushed at the officers, who then fired 40 millimeter bullets or “sponge gun” rounds, that hit Espinoza in the chest. When he continued moving, three separate Fullerton Police officers fired their tasers as well, which had no effect on him, according to a press release by the Fullerton Police.

Espinoza proceeded to fight the officers, inflicting several injuries to the three. The officers were treated and released at a local hospital, according to Fullerton Police.

After he had been placed in handcuffs, he continued to struggle and paramedics on the scene were cleared by the hospital to give him a sedative. Once Espinoza calmed down he was moved into an ambulance.

Enroute to the hospital, he stopped breathing and paramedics administered life-saving measures. When they reached the hospital, emergency room staff took over, where Espinoza was pronounced dead shortly after his arrival to the ER, according to a press release by Fullerton Police Department.

Officers said that he had broken into a house on the 200 block of S. Kellog Dr. prior to the officer’s arrival, punching and kicking through the door where a female adult was home alone. The woman did not know him, and he broke the door down while she was screaming but quickly left the house, according to Fullerton Police.

Police officers responding to the crime recognized Espinoza, who had created another disturbance on the street at approximately 3:58 p.m. that same day.

Espinoza’s father had called the police and told dispatchers that his son was being disruptive and may attempt to fight the police when they arrived. After meeting with Espinoza and his family, the family told the officers that they would be able to control him and asked that nothing further be done.

Another incident occurred earlier in the month with the Fullerton Fire Department, when Espinoza threw himself in front of a fire engine and tried to fight firefighters, according to Fullerton police. Police officers said that he was in possession of methamphetamine, and he was sent to a hospital for a mental evaluation on Feb. 2.

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