LAKE ISABELLA — A 58-year-old man, arrested for disturbing the peace, died after his arrest by police on Wednesday morning.
Michael Earl Lemon was pronounced dead shortly after arriving at Kern Valley Hospital on April 8, just after 6:30 a.m.
According to the Kern County Sheriff’s Office, Lemon resisted arrest and began fighting with two deputies, who were attempting to take him into custody after responding to a peace disturbance call at the Lake Isabella Mobile Home and RV Park, located at 11936 Highway 178 in Mountain Mesa.
Deputies said that they contacted Lemon after being told by witnesses that he had reportedly been causing the disturbance. “At one point during their contact with Lemon, deputies made a decision to place him under arrest using non lethal force” said Public Information Officer Ray Pruitt. “At that point the suspect wrestled with deputies before they were able to finally handcuff him.”
After Lemon was handcuffed, he began experiencing medical complications. Medical aid was called, and the responding ambulance transported Lemon to the local hospital, where he was pronounced dead a short time later.
Detectives are conducting an investigation into Lemon’s death, while the two deputies involved in the incident, Brandon Geherty and Joshua Bechtel, have been placed on paid administrative leave pending a result. Geherty is a three and a half year veteran, and Bechtel is an eight year veteran of the Sheriff’s Office.
Records show that Lemon was arrested on September 6 of last year by the Kern County Sheriff’s Department on charges of vandalism in excess of $5,000. No further details of that incident were available.