Investigation Underway After Suspect Died Following Arrest By San Diego Sheriff’s Department In Cardiff

handcuffs-354042_640ENCINITAS, CALIFORNIA (March 9, 2024) – A male suspect has tragically died in Cardiff after being taken into custody by the San Diego Sheriff’s Department.

San Diego County officials are saying that the incident took place around midnight. Deputies responded to a parking lot on Birmingham Drive after getting a call about a “suspicious person.”

Responding officers located the suspect and took him into custody on suspicion of being under the influence of a controlled substance. Police claim that the suspect began to throw himself against a patrol car before he was placed in a WRAP restraint device.

The suspect became unconscious and stopped breathing. Paramedics were called to the scene in order to help the man. He was taken to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead.

A full investigation into the Cardiff incident remains ongoing at this time.


Liability For San Diego County Suspect Deaths

Thousands of people die or are seriously injured every year in police custody. Many of these incidents involve a suspect who was restrained under dangerous circumstances. So far, there have been at least 10 lawsuits brought by families of suspects who have died while in a WRAP restraint device. These devices can be particularly deadly when (1) the equipment is misused, (2) they result in delayed medical care, or (3) a suspect is going through an overdose. In particular, there are numerous steps that officers should take if they suspect someone is going through a drug overdose.

  • Officers should call for medical attention as early as possible.
  • Officers should provide basic first aid, including the use of CPR if necessary.
  • Officers should administer Naloxone if they suspect a person is going through an opioid overdose.
  • Officers should continuously monitor the person.

Depending on the facts of any case, a police department could be liable for the excessive force of their officers. Pursuant to 42 U.S. Code § 1983, every person who, under the color of any statute, law or ordinance, causes a citizen of the United States to be deprived of their rights secured by the constitution shall be liable to the injured party in an action at law. Liability may also occur if officers fail to provide a suspect with adequate care for a possible drug overdose. It is important that certain steps are taken after any in-custody death.

  • Eyewitnesses should be interviewed.
  • Body camera footage from all officers involved should be reviewed.
  • Surveillance footage related to the incident should be preserved.
  • Medical records related to the death should be collected.
  • An independent autopsy may need to be performed.
  • An experienced civil rights attorney should be contacted.

A large portion of in-custody deaths are completely preventable. They tend to involve instances where officers are not following protocols. This is particularly the case when officers place suspects in any type of full-body restraint. It is important that victims of police brutality understand that they do have rights. The family of any person who died in police custody may have legal recourse through a civil claim.


Investigating San Diego County Suspect Deaths

We at the Sehat Law Firm extend our deepest condolences to the family of the man who died in this Cardiff incident. There needs to be a thorough investigation into what happened for the sake of the victim’s family. It is our sincere hope that steps are taken to prevent other tragedies like this.

Do you need more information about an in-custody death in San Diego County? Our team of civil rights attorneys is here to help. We focus entirely on helping people who have been the victims of police brutality. Whether you just have legal questions or need any type of assistance, we are here for you. You can reach out to us anytime at (949) 825-5200.


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