UPDATED: Shovel-wielding man who resisted HPD officers & beat K-9 later suffers cardiac arrest
HEMET — A man who had been using a shovel to break down an apartment door late last night later resisted arrest was rushed to a hospital after reportedly suffering cardiac arrest. Hemet PD has released very little information related to the violent confrontation, which happened near the 100 block of N. Hamilton, between Florida and Latham Avenues.
Video shot from the scene showed the suspect using the shovel’s broken handle to beat a police K-9 that was deployed to apprehend the violently resisting man. The alleged suspect was eventually taken into custody after being repeatedly shot with Tasers and bitten by the K-9.
Shortly after being handcuffed, officers reported the man was fading “in and out of consciousness” and moments later updated that he had stopped breathing and that officers had begun CPR. Paramedics were still performing chest compressions on the man’s lifeless body as he was loaded into a waiting ambulance and rushed to an area hospital. Authorities were still at the scene of the violent confrontation several hours later as their investigation continued.
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Although some media outlets have reported the man later died, Hemet Police Lt. Glen Brock later reported on social media that the officer’s life-saving efforts saved the man’s life.
City of Hemet police officers were dispatched to the apartment complex around 11 p.m., after receiving reports of a possible home invasion in progress, according to official radio traffic. A frantic woman who had called 911 told emergency dispatchers someone was trying to break into her apartment and when she looked outside, the terrified woman reported seeing a man who was trying to break down her door with a shovel.
Based on the circumstances, several officers began heading to the area and when the first officer arrived at the scene he reported finding the suspect on the balcony of an upstairs apartment.
The man was still armed with the handle of the shovel, which apparently broke at some point while the man had been smashing the apartment door with it.
The officer put out an emergency request for priority assistance and updated that the violent and irrational man was trying to kick in the balcony’s sliding glass door.
Despite having the man at gunpoint, the suspect was still refusing to comply with the officer’s commands and began throwing furniture and other objects from the balcony down at that and other responding officers.
When Hemet PD K-9 Handler Officer Reynoso arrived with K-9 “Duke” the man continued refusing the officers commands. As pieces of furniture continued raining down on the officers, Reynoso lifted his 75 pound K-9 partner up and over his head and over the balcony, and began ordering the dog to subdue the man.
Still armed with the shovel handle, which appeared to be about two feet long, the alleged suspect began wildly flailing and swinging the wooden handle at Duke, and appeared to have possibly struck the K-9 several times.
As the man continued swinging the shovel handle, officers deployed the first of at least three Tasers. Although the first Taser hit the suspect, the man just screamed and ripped the probe lines out of his chest. Officers then deployed a second Taser which also hit the suspect, causing him to stumble and thrash around. Although the violently struggling man began screaming, the Taser deployments seemed to have little to no effect and the man continued resisting officer’s efforts to subdue and apprehend him.
Based on the emergency request for help, more than a half-dozen officers converged on the scene with sirens blaring and lights flashing.
Responding officers found the gate to the apartment stairwell locked and subsequently tore the entire front of the wrought iron fence down to get to their partners in distress.
As officers broke through the fence and raced up the stairs, other officers already at the scene kicked down the apartment door and rushed through the residence and out the sliding balcony door; where they confronted the still violently resisting suspect.
In extremely graphic video footage shot from the scene by Facebook’s Hemet News, what sounds like a third Taser deployment can be heard, followed by the suspect continuing to scream and resist arrest. A woman can also be heard frantically screaming, as more officers continued rushing up the stairs and into the apartment.
During the nearly nine minute video, officers are seen struggling to take the man into custody on the small apartment balcony. They can also be clearly heard repeatedly yelling various commands; including, “Get on the ground,” “Stop resisting,” “Put your hands behind your back,” and “Stop fighting my partner.”
A few minutes later, officers had subdued and handcuffed the man and were seen carrying the still struggling and screaming man down the stairs and out to the street, where they placed him down near several patrol vehicles. Officers requested Hemet Fire and American Medical Response to the location to treat the man for the Taser deployments and dog bites.
A short time later officers updated that the man was fading “in and out of consciousness” and requested medical personnel expedite their response to the scene. Less than two minutes after carrying the man down the stairs, one of the arresting officers realized the man had stopped breathing and was unresponsive.
Officers immediately rolled the man over and several began performing chest compressions on the subject. Officers who checked for a pulse reported finding none.
As the officers’ life-saving efforts continued, other officers created a human barrier to keep citizens from seeing what was happening, but officials could be seen continuing to perform CPR and making other life-saving efforts.
Other officers quickly began setting up crime scene tape and cordoned off the area, requesting all citizens and members of the local media move out of the area.
Paramedics eventually arrived and took over CPR. The man was later transported to an area hospital for further life-saving efforts. The man has not been identified pending further investigation.
None of the involved officers or K-9 were reported injured in the melee or subsequent apprehension.
Hemet PD has not yet released any information related to this incident and their investigation is active and ongoing.
This is a developing story that will be updated as new information is available.
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Trevor Montgomery, 47, recently moved to the Intermountain area of Shasta County from Riverside County and runs Riverside County News Source and Shasta County News Source. Additionally, he writes for several other news organizations, including Riverside County based newspapers, Valley News, The Valley Chronicle and Anza Valley Outlook, as well as Bonsall/Fallbrook Village News in San Diego County and The Mountain Echo in Shasta County.
Trevor spent 10 years in the U.S. Army as an Orthopedic Specialist before joining the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in 1998. He was medically retired after losing his leg, breaking his back and suffering both spinal cord and brain injuries in an off-duty accident. (Click here to see segment of Discovery Channel documentary of Trevor’s accident.)
During his time with the sheriff’s department, Trevor worked at several different stations, including Robert Presley Detention Center, Southwest Station in Temecula, Hemet/Valle Vista Station, Ben Clark Public Safety Training Center and Lake Elsinore Station, along with other locations.
Trevor’s assignments included Corrections, Patrol, DUI Enforcement, Boat and Personal Water-Craft based Lake Patrol, Off-Road Vehicle Enforcement, Problem Oriented Policing Team and Personnel/Background Investigations. He finished his career while working as a Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Investigator and was a court-designated expert in child abuse and child sex-related crimes.
Trevor has been married for more than 27 years and was a foster parent to more than 60 children over 13 years. He is now an adoptive parent and his “fluid family” boasts 13 children and 14 – soon to be 16 – grandchildren.