Crime - Sacto 911

Man leaps to death from East Sacramento parking garage after fleeing EMTs

A man died Sunday night when he jumped from the third floor of a parking garage after fleeing paramedics who had transported him to Sacramento’s Mercy General Hospital, authorities reported.

The incident began at 9:47 p.m. when a Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District ambulance crew was dispatched to 55th and J streets. At 10 p.m., they transported a man to Mercy General Hospital in the 4000 block of J Street.

The patient was cooperative with fire personnel at the scene and during the trip to the hospital, Capt. Michelle Eidam, fire district spokewoman, said in an email. When the ambulance arrived at the hospital and the back doors of the ambulance were opened, the man unstrapped himself from the gurney and quickly got out of the ambulance.

He began to run through the parking lot, Eidam said, and the ambulance crew called for law enforcement assistance over their radio, Eidam said. The crew tried to follow the man to determine where he was going, she said.

The man ran to the third story of a parking garage, walked onto a ledge and, seconds later, jumped off the ledge, Eidam said.

She said the paramedics retrieved their medical gear and began treating the man with the assistance of hospital staff members. He was taken to the emergency room, where hospital personnel took over. The man was pronounced dead at the hospital. His name has not been released pending notification of family.

Officer Matthew McPhail, Sacramento Police Department spokesman, said the man broke a window of a nearby building with his fist before entering the parking garage.

McPhail said officers conducted a death investigation and found no signs of foul play. Police have requested surveillance video from buildings in the area that might show what occurred, but McPhail said there was no evidence that any crime was involved and the death appears to be a suicide.

Cathy Locke: 916-321-5287, @lockecathy