SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — The man who died in Sacramento police custody Friday after a violent struggle with officers did not suffer major traumatic injuries, the Sacramento County Coroner says.
Preliminary autopsy results reveal injuries John Nat Torretti Jr. may have received during the struggle, which was captured on cell phone video, were not fatal. Toxicology reports are pending.
The video shows an officer lying on top of Torretti as a female officer hit him with a baton. Minutes before the struggle, police say, Torretti had barricaded himself within a Metro PCS store on the 8300 block of Folsom Boulevard and ignored officers’ commands. From there, a violent fight broke out, spilling to the sidewalk where the video was shot.
Torretti was taken to a nearby hospital, where he later died. A police officer and the investigator were also taken to the hospital for medical treatment.
After watching the video, former Sacramento County Sheriff John McGinness said he believes force was the only way to bring Torretti into custody.
“My strong belief is that at any time had he complied with what they were telling him to do, the use of force would have stopped,” said McGinness.
Sacramento police say officers used pepper spray on the 42-year-old with no effect before the officer pulled out her baton. Police also say bystanders kicked Torretti.
The officers involved in the altercation were placed on paid administrative leave, which is standard procedure for a case like this.