Officer Killed Jail Escapee, Family Claims


Relatives of an Orange County Jail inmate who escaped from a hospital and reportedly committed suicide while fleeing authorities now contend an officer fired the fatal gunshot and are seeking $1.5 million in compensation.

Jake Bricks, a 30-year-old “three strikes” suspect, died May 12 while leading sheriff’s deputies and Anaheim police on a high-speed chase.

Deputies said Bricks disarmed a deputy who accompanied him to Western Medical Center-Anaheim, stole a car and shot himself in the head during a pursuit on Lincoln Avenue.


But an attorney for Bricks’ family contended in a government claim that a sheriff’s deputy or Anaheim police officer killed Bricks. The claim, a prerequisite to a lawsuit, seeks a total of $1.5 million for Bricks’ wife, Andrea, and mother, Judy Pedroso.

An autopsy found no gun powder residue or burn marks near the fatal wound, evidence the gunshot was not fired from close range, said the family’s attorney, David M. Barela.

Bricks’ relatives were so concerned by the autopsy report that they are considering having his body exhumed for further testing, Barela said.

Orange County district attorney’s office investigators classified Bricks’ death as a suicide, said spokeswoman Tori Richards. Officials with both Anaheim police and the Sheriff’s Department declined to discuss the claim.