By Elisabeth Smith

MODESTO (CBS13) — The Modesto Police Department has released 911 calls and body camera video from an in-custody death incident on Sept. 17.

In a press release last week, police said a man from Mexico who choked himself with a seatbelt after being detained in the back of a police car died in the hospital. The man, 33-year-old Emilio Villa Mora, was suspected of attempting to enter a home and break into multiple cars.

The video press release posted to Youtube on Wednesday includes four 911 calls from the incident, two from Villa Mora and two from residents reporting an attempted residential break-in and attempted vehicle burglary, respectively.

You can watch the video here. Warning: this video may be hard to watch. 

Mora was eventually located and led officers on a foot chase, the department said. A taser was used in the officers’ attempts to detain him, but it was ineffective. Police said the chase eventually ended in the backyard of a nearby home, where Mora was tackled, handcuffed and seatbelted into the back of the patrol car.

Bodycam video shows an officer giving Mora water from a hose and washing off his face, which had dirt and debris on it from being tackled. Emergency Medical Technicians also responded to the scene and talked to Mora as he sat handcuffed in the back seat of the patrol vehicle.

Officers then drove back to the scene of the attempted break-in and kept Mora in the backseat of the vehicle. They reported seeing him moving around in his seat and say Mora was found slumped over with his seatbelt unbuckled and the adjacent seat’s belt wrapped tightly around his neck.

The video shows officers cutting the seatbelt from Mora’s neck and taking him out of the patrol vehicle to start CPR. They reported he had a faint pulse. Mora was taken to a hospital where he died several days later.


Leave a Reply