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Suspected 'prowler' dies in South L.A. after LAPD use of force incident

Suspected 'prowler' dies in South L.A. after LAPD use of force incident
A suspected "prowler" died Sunday after a confrontation with police in South L.A., authorities said. A cause of death has yet to be determined. (L.A. Times Graphics)

A man described as a "prowler" died Sunday after police attempted to arrest him in South L.A., authorities said.

Officers from the Los Angeles Police Department's Newton Division responded to the 4400 block of Towne Avenue after receiving a call about the man at 11:48 a.m. Sunday, authorities said.

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The man appeared agitated, so officers did not immediately approach him upon arrival, said Det. Meghan Aguilar, an LAPD spokeswoman. A beanbag shotgun and Taser were fired at the man, though it was not clear if he was struck by either device, Aguilar said.

Officers handcuffed the man, and called for an ambulance. He was pronounced dead at Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center a short time later, according to the LAPD.

The man "had access to items that posed a threat to the public and officers," according to Josh Rubenstein, the LAPD's chief spokesman. Rubenstein could not say exactly what prompted the officers to use force.

Police Chief Charlie Beck said Monday the suspect was "under the influence of narcotics."

A toxicology test will be needed to determine that, and it was not immediately clear if the officers' decision to use force played a role in the suspect's death. Aguilar said the man was between 25 and 30 years old.

Ed Winter, a spokesman for the Los Angeles County coroner's office, said the suspect's identity and cause of death could not be immediately released Monday pending the completion of an autopsy.

Follow @JamesQueallyLAT & @cindychangLA for crime and police news in California.

UPDATES:

11:40 a.m.: This story was updated with additional information from the LAPD.

9:10 a.m.: This story was updated with information from police and the coroner's office.

This story first published at 8:00 a.m.

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