Coroner’s Final Report Confirms PCP Responsible for Moreno Valley Arrestee’s Death
MORENO VALLEY – Two months after the death of a man in custody, the Riverside Coroner confirmed that the homicide was linked to PCP usage.
On October 11, 2013 at 5:56 PM, Moreno Valley Police Department officers responded to a call regarding a man sitting in a vehicle in obvious distress and blocking the drive-through of the Burger King located near the 23000 block of Hemlock Avenue. The man was reported to be violently kicking and punching within the vehicle.
At the scene, officers approached Raymond Lewis Johnson, 41 of Moreno Valley. Based on Johnson’s size, apparent strength, and agitation, officers called for back up to handle the situation. Johnson was unresponsive when asked if he needed assistance and continued to flail within the vehicle. Officers presumed that he was under the influence and a danger to the public if allowed to flee from the scene in his vehicle.
Despite being doused with pepper spray, Johnson continued to refuse to leave the vehicle and made motions to drive away. He was warned that officers would be forced to use a taser, but continued to refuse to leave the vehicle. Johnson fought, even after the deployment of the taser. Johnson then climbed to the back of the vehicle and reached under the seat, concealing his hands. Concerned he might have a weapon, officers struck his legs with a baton, which again was ineffective.
Removal of Johnson took the efforts of all officers on the scene, at which time he was placed on the ground, cuffed and an ambulance was called. While on the ground, Johnson stopped breathing. Officers began C.P.R. and continued until the ambulance arrived. Johnson was pronounced dead at the hospital.
According to the final coroner’s report released December 17, the cause of death was “Hypertensive Cardiovascular Disease with other significant condition of Acute Phencyclidine (PCP) intoxication and physical altercation with law enforcement.” Johnson had an enlarged heart, which greatly increases the risk for a heart attack. The amount of PCP in his blood stream was consistent with other reported fatalities.
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