||In Custody Death
||Central Homicide Unit
||23000 Block of Hemlock Avenue, Moreno Valley
||Lieutenant Joseph Borja / Central Homicide Unit,
Chief Deputy Patty Knudson, Lieutenant Ron Heim
|Coroner's Final Release:
The Riverside County Sheriff’s – Coroner’s Office obtained the toxicology results in the matter of Raymond Johnson. The toxicology was performed by a private laboratory. The findings revealed Mr. Johnson had 0.1 to 0.2 milligrams per liter of PCP in his blood. In addition to the amount located in the blood, there was a concentrated amount of PCP located in his stomach content that was at least seven times higher (1.16 milligrams per kilograms) than the amount located in the blood. PCP was also located in his urine and vitreous fluid, which is indicative of the potential of steady use of the drug. In addition to the PCP, there was cocaine, marijuana and their derivatives located in the urine. Those findings indicate that those drugs were ingested earlier than the PCP. There was also a therapeutic level (0.84 milligrams per liter) of Naloxone found in the blood. Naloxone is often used as a first line treatment by emergency medical personnel to prevent or reverse the effects of a possible narcotic overdose.
Although the toxicology results have been received, there has not yet been an official finding of the cause of death. The finding of the cause of death will be determined following a coroner’s review hearing. A coroner’s review hearing is a standard practice following an in custody death.
Over the course of the last few days, the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department has received inquiries as to the progress of the in custody death investigation, which is still ongoing, in the city of Moreno Valley. The Sheriff’s Department is actively seeking the public’s assistance in hopes of locating any and all additional witnesses to the incident. Immediately following the incident, members from Riverside Sheriff's Administration, Riverside Sheriff's Central Homicide Unit, Moreno Valley Police Department investigators, and representatives from the Riverside County District Attorney's office were summoned to the scene. The initial investigation has revealed that patrons in and around the restaurant may have left the scene prior to officers arriving, due to fear of the initial incident which led restaurant employees and other witnesses to call the police for help. The Sheriff’s Department is asking the public to please contact investigators if you were present at any time during the incident so a fair, thorough and complete investigation can be conducted.
It is the practice of the Sheriff’s Department to be transparent in all investigations to the extent practicable. In an attempt to remain transparent and retain the integrity of the investigation, a synopsis of the incident is as follows:
The incident began on October 11, 2013, at 5:56 P.M., when officers from the Moreno Valley Police Department responded to several reports of an adult male sitting inside of a vehicle. The subject was seen violently kicking his feet and striking his fists in an uncontrollable manner, causing concern to the subjects who reported the incident. The vehicle was parked blocking the drive-thru at a Burger King restaurant, located near the 23000 block of Hemlock Avenue, in the city of Moreno Valley.
An officer arrived on scene within minutes and located forty-one year old, Moreno Valley resident, Raymond Lewis Johnson, sitting in his vehicle. Johnson is a muscular male adult, weighing two-hundred sixteen pounds, and six foot three inches tall. Due to Johnson’s physical size and agitated state, the officer requested additional officers to respond. While waiting for the additional officers, the initial officer attempted to communicate with Johnson, asking him if he needed medical attention. Johnson was unresponsive to the officer’s questions. Johnson began kicking both legs against the interior of his vehicle. Based on Johnson's actions, behavior and unresponsiveness, the officer believed he was possibly under the influence of alcohol, narcotics or both, and a danger to the public if he was allowed to drive away. The officer then asked Johnson to exit the vehicle several times. Johnson acted as if he was unaware of the officer’s presence. Johnson attempted to start his vehicle several times, but the vehicle failed to start. At this point, the officer was afraid Johnson would try to drive away if his vehicle started and decided he had to remove Johnson from the vehicle for the public’s safety. Due to Johnson’s size, his continued violent actions, and the need to remove him from his vehicle before he drove away, the officer deployed his department issued Oleoresin Capsicum (OC) spray to the face area of Johnson. Johnson coughed for a second and began pulling on the steering wheel, and again attempted to start the vehicle. After the officer determined the OC spray was ineffective, he un-holstered his department energy conducted weapons system (X26 Taser), pointed it towards Johnson, and ordered him to exit his vehicle. He advised Johnson if he did not exit the vehicle, the taser would be used. After Johnson refused to exit the vehicle, the officer deployed the taser; however, it too was ineffective. The officer further tried to utilize the taser by directly contacting Johnson’s thigh twice, which also had no effect. While the officer attempted to deploy the taser, Johnson grabbed the officer’s hand, attempting to thwart any further deployment. While Johnson continued to resist the officer’s attempt to remove him from the vehicle, Johnson tried to make his way towards the rear of the vehicle. The officer was able to stop Johnson from moving to the rear of his vehicle by holding him against the pillar of the vehicle.
Additional officers arrived on scene, positioning themselves at both front doors of the vehicle ordering Johnson out of the vehicle. Johnson continued to remain uncooperative and began to hold on to the under carriage of the passenger seat, concealing his hands from the officers’ view. This created great concern to the officers, because they did not know if he had any weapons in the vehicle. In an attempt to distract Johnson and loosen his grip so he could be removed from the vehicle, one officer employed his department issued Rapid Containment Baton (RCB) and deployed several strikes to Johnson’s right and left upper thighs. The baton was not extended at time of deployment to minimize injury. The deployment of the baton was ineffective and another officer kicked Johnson in his shoulder area to loosen Johnson’s grip. A combination of all the officers’ efforts to remove Johnson from the vehicle eventually prevailed. During the struggle with Johnson, and before he was taken into custody, one of the officers requested an ambulance to respond. Johnson was handcuffed and placed on the ground. While Johnson lay on the ground, one of the officers noticed Johnson had stopped breathing. Officers immediately began C.P.R and Johnson was transported to a nearby hospital.
On October 15, 2013 an autopsy was conducted on Mr. Johnson by the Riverside County Sheriff’s / Coroner’s Office. The preliminary findings determined that Mr. Johnson had a significantly enlarged heart for a male adult his age. Mr. Johnson had abrasions consistent with being involved in a struggle, none of his injuries were life-threatening. Positional asphyxia was ruled out and a toxicology report is pending.
It is important to remember we are in the preliminary stages of this investigation and we are still requesting the public’s assistance. Anyone with information related to this incident is asked to contact Investigator Campos of the Riverside Sheriff's Central Homicide Unit at (951) 955-2777, or Investigator Lenton of the Moreno Valley Police Department at (951) 486-6700.
Citizens may also submit an anonymous tip using the Sheriff's CrimeTips online form.
On October 11, 2013, at 5:56 P.M., officers from the Moreno Valley Police Department responded to several reports of an adult male sitting inside of a vehicle. The subject was seen violently kicking his feet and striking his fists in an uncontrollable manner, causing concern to the subjects who reported the incident. The vehicle was parked blocking the drive-thru at a Burger King restaurant, located near the 23000 block of Hemlock Avenue, in the city of Moreno Valley.
Officers arrived on scene within minutes and located the suspect who appeared to be in an agitated state, throwing food, money, and other items inside and outside of the vehicle. Officers attempted to speak with the suspect but he was non-compliant. The officers asked the suspect to exit the vehicle several times but he refused to comply with the officers requests. The officers attempted to extract the suspect from the vehicle. The suspect resisted the officers, causing the officers to struggle with the suspect for an extended period of time. The suspect was eventually handcuffed and taken into custody. Shortly after the suspect was taken into custody, the suspect became unresponsive; the deputies checked his vital signs and noticed he stopped breathing.
Officers immediately began life-saving measures. The suspect was transported to a local hospital to receive medical attention; however, he was later pronounced deceased. The identity of the suspect is being withheld, pending next of kin notification.
Investigators from the Moreno Valley Police Department and investigators from the Riverside Sheriff's Central Homicide Unit responded and assumed the investigation. This is an ongoing investigation and no further information will be released at this time. No officers were seriously injured in this incident.
Anyone with information related to this incident is asked to contact Investigator Campos of the Riverside Sheriff's Central Homicide Unit at (951) 955-2777, or Investigator Lenton of the Moreno Valley Police Department at (951) 486-6700.
Citizens may also submit an anonymous tip using the Sheriff's CrimeTips online form.