Authorities Tuesday publicly identified a 44-year-old man who died after police found him running in traffic in the City Heights area and trying to bite off his fingers.
Dispatchers received a call around 6:40 p.m. last Tuesday from a person reporting that a man near the intersection of Winona and University avenues appeared to be under the influence of drugs and was running into traffic, San Diego police Lt. Anthony Dupree said.
The man, later identified as Lawayne Horne, was found standing in the street with his hand in his mouth, trying to bite off his fingers, Dupree said, adding that someone who claimed to know Horne told officers he was allegedly under the influence of PCP.
The officers attempted to verbally calm him down, but when two additional officers arrived, Horne threw himself on the ground and began banging his head on the ground while continuing to bite his fingers, he said.
Officers pulled Horne’s hand out of his mouth and put his shoes under his head to keep him from continuing to bang his head on the ground, Dupree said.
Because of Horne’s erratic behavior, an officer accompanied him on the ambulance trip to the hospital, during which he went into medical distress and paramedics performed life-saving measures, Dupree said. Horne was placed on life support at the hospital and pronounced dead on Saturday.
“At this point, it appears minimal force was used by officers to handcuff the male and prevent him from hurting himself,” Dupree said, adding that homicide detectives were “conducting an exhaustive investigation into the facts surrounding the incident.”
The four officers involved have been on the force for one, four, five and seven years, according to the SDPD.
–City News Service