DOWNEY — A 31-year-old New York City man, who led Downey police on a chase today and had to be subdued with a Taser, was pronounced dead a short time later, sheriff's deputies said.
Los Angeles County sheriff's detectives have been called in to investigate the death of Albert Valencia, 31, of New York City, shortly after he was shot with the stun gun by Downey police at a South Gate intersection.
Police were called to an LA Fitness gym at Firestone Boulevard and Ryerson Avenue in Downey around 9 a.m., when "patrons reported a male acting strangely and threatening people inside the gym,'' said Deputy Ed Hernandez of the Sheriff's Headquarters Bureau.
"As officers arrived, witnesses pointed out the suspect as he was driving out of the parking lot. (The officers) attempted to make contact with the male, but he fled and a short pursuit ensued,'' the deputy related.
Hernandez said the suspect, later identified as Valencia, brandished a knife during the pursuit, which came to an end after he pulled over at in a residential neighborhood at Almira and Blumont roads in South Gate, about three miles away from the gym.
"(The suspect) fled on foot into a rear yard where a physical altercation between the suspect and the officers occurred,'' Hernandez said.
"A Taser was deployed in an effort to help subdue the suspect.''
Hernandez said Valencia "became unresponsive'' shortly after he was subdued.
Officers and paramedics performed CPR on the man but he died at a nearby hospital, Hernandez said.
The cause of death was not yet known.