Cellphone Theft Suspect Dies While Being Arrested by Long Beach Police After Struggle With Bystanders: Officials

A man died after Long Beach police had been attempting to take him into custody in connection with a cellphone theft, officials said Wednesday.

Reports of a person screaming prompted officers to respond to the area of Granada Avenue and Ocean Boulevard around 11:30 p.m. on Monday, the Long Beach Police Department said in a news release.

A man had approached a woman in the area and took her cellphone. The woman then began screaming for help when the thief tried to run, investigators have determined.

Others in the area attempted to aid the woman by detaining the man, engaging in a brawl with him in the process, police said.

The man had was being detained by one of the bystanders when officers arrived at the scene, authorities said.

The responding officers handcuffed the detained man but noticed he did not physically resist. They soon realized he was in medical distress, police said, but did not describe what type of episode or injuries the man had suffered.

Police said they removed the man’s handcuffs and began rendering aid, but the man was declared dead once paramedics arrived at the scene.

His name was not being released, pending notification of his next of kin.

The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office will be conducting its own investigation of the incident, as is standard procedure for all in-custody deaths, police said.

Anyone with information can contact contact homicide detectives Malcom Evans and Robert Gonzales at 562-570-7244. Anonymous tips can be submitted via Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477 or www.lacrimestoppers.org.