By Aaron Blevins, 9/06/2012
A Hollywood man died in police custody on Aug. 23 after throwing numerous items from his second-story apartment.
At approximately 3:05 a.m., Hollywood Division Patrol officers responded to a 911 call of a “vandalism suspect there now” at an apartment in the 5500 block of Harold Way. Witnesses reported that the suspect was yelling, breaking glass and throwing items outside his apartment window, resulting in numerous calls. The suspect, later identified as 48-year-old Michael Mastrangelo, lived in a second-story apartment unit that overlooked the front entrance to the building.
When the officers arrived, they observed numerous personal belongings, such as small pieces of furniture, beneath Mastrangelo’s window that was strung along the sidewalk and entry way, many of which were covered in fresh blood. His windows had been smashed outward with glass debris below, and there was blood on the window sill. Mastrangelo continued throwing objects out his window despite the officers’ presence.
Fearing for his safety, both officers and their patrol sergeant forced entry into his apartment and confronted Mastrangelo, who was covered with blood. He was handcuffed without any force being used. Within moments of being cuffed, Mastrangelo became lifeless.
Los Angeles Fire Department personnel from Rescue Ambulance No. 82 attempted to revive Mastrangelo, but he failed to respond to emergency medical treatment and was pronounced dead at the scene.
LAPD’s Force Investigation Division detectives responded and are investigating the in-custody death.
The investigation will ultimately be reviewed by the chief of police, the Office of the Inspector General and the Board of Police Commissioners for compliance with the department’s use-of-force policy, which states that an officer’s use-of-force actions must be objectively reasonable.
Additionally, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Justice System Integrity Division will conduct a comprehensive review of the facts of the in-custody death.