Local News

Thursday, Aug 29 2013 06:35 PM

Man injured by deputies during arrest dies nine days later

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By THE BAKERSFIELD CALIFORNIAN

A man subdued by Kern County Sheriff's deputies earlier this month died late Wednesday following complications from injuries he sustained during the arrest.

Ronnie Ledesma Jr., 39, died about 10 p.m. Wednesday at Kern Medical Center, according to a sheriff's office news release.

He was arrested Aug. 19 after a disturbance at the Walgreens at 2629 Mt. Vernon Ave.

A sheriff's office spokesman declined to answer questions Thursday night. The spokesman said Sheriff Donny Youngblood would answer questions about the incident Friday.

Ledesma's death was the third time in the past four months that a man arrested by sheriff's deputies has died.

David Silva, 33, died May 8 while being taken into custody, and Wilfredo Ramos, 25, died June 17.

According to the news release, deputies were told about 8:35 p.m. on Aug. 19 that two Hispanic men inside the Walgreens were "acting strange and both were possibly under the influence of a controlled substance."

The first deputy on the scene found Ledesma in the store parking lot. When he tried to detain Ledesma, the suspect became "uncooperative," according to the news release.

A two-minute scuffle ensued before additional deputies arrived, including one with a K-9 dog. The dog bit Ledesma, and when he continued to struggle he was hit with "impact weapons" and deputies used "control holds" to subdue him, according to the report.

Ledesma was taken to KMC for treatment. While there, he developed "medical complications," according to the report, and his condition worsened.

Preliminary toxicology reports revealed Ledesma had PCP, amphetamines and Benzodiazapine in his system.

An autopsy was performed but results are pending.

Detectives have begun an investigation into Ledesma's death, according to the sheriff's office.

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