LAPD probing man’s death after struggle with sergeants during arrest
Los Angeles police are investigating the death of a 37-year-old motorist after a physical altercation with two LAPD sergeants who were arresting him.
Omar Abrego, 37, was declared dead Aug. 3 about 12 hours after he was arrested by the two gang-unit sergeants, according to officials. The sergeants took Abrego into custody after they spotted him driving fast in South L.A. and nearly striking a pedestrian in a crosswalk, according to the LAPD.
A cause of death has yet to be released pending further tests, according to Los Angeles County coroner’s Chief Craig Harvey. The death is being investigated by the LAPD’s Force Investigation Division.
Abrego suffered a severe concussion and multiple facial and body contusions in the incident, which also left one of the sergeants with a broken hand.
An initial coroner’s report says Abrego was combative and confused with acute cocaine intoxication, Harvey said.
LAPD officials said a community member flagged down the sergeants at about 5:45 p.m Aug. 2 reporting concern about a white vehicle in the area. Soon after, the sergeants saw a white vehicle driving erratically at high speed, just missing a pedestrian, police said.
As the sergeants reached the 6900 block of South Main Street, the man -- later identified as Abrego -- jumped out of the car and attempted to run on foot, police said.
“A physical altercation ensued and the sergeants were able to take the suspect into custody. The suspect sustained a laceration and a rescue ambulance was requested,” according to an LAPD statement.
Abrego was taken to a hospital where he was pronounced dead around 5:10 a.m.
Both sergeants were treated at a hospital after the struggle, one for a broken hand and the other for a knee injury, police said.
The LAPD hasn’t released the names of the sergeants.
Follow Southern California crime @lacrimes
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