Crime - Sacto 911

Citizens who detained man after fight are now focus of death investigation

Police are investigating the death of a man who was physically detained by citizens last week after he allegedly engaged in several violent acts in Sacramento’s College Greens/Glenbrook neighborhood.

Officers responded to the 3000 block of Great Falls Way about 3:38 p.m. Sept. 6 regarding a report of man who had broken a window of an apartment and was trying to fight with residents in the parking lot of the complex. Police received several other calls reporting that a man broke a window at a business and was physically assaulting an older man, according to a Police Department news release.

Residents provided officers with a detailed description of the man, who they said was behaving erratically and was hiding in the nearby neighborhood.

The first officer arrived in the area at 4:02 p.m. and was directed to the area of Great Falls Way and Denison Court, where he saw several people holding a man down on the front lawn of a residence in the 8400 block of Denison Court. They told the officer that they had been involved in a physical fight with the man, the news release said.

The officer approached the man, who was being held down by two people. With their help, the officer handcuffed the man and requested additional officers. The officers called for medical assistance and while they were waiting for medical personnel to arrive, the man became unresponsive. Officers administered CPR until they were relieved by medical personnel, according to the news release.

The Sacramento Fire Department transported the man to an area hospital for treatment.

Because of the seriousness of the man’s condition, homicide and crime scene investigators responded to the scene, along with representatives of the Police Department’s Internal Affairs Unit and the city’s Office of Public Safety Accountability, the news release said.

The Police Department was notified Sunday that the man had been removed from life support and declared dead. He is identified on the Sacramento County Coroner’s Office website as 37-year-old Erik Mencarini. No city of residence is listed.

Citing the ongoing investigation, police have not released the names of the citizens involved.

Police said the case will be forwarded to the Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office for review “regarding the facts and circumstances surrounding the use of force by the citizens prior to police arrival.”

No charges have been filed, and no one has been arrested in connection with the incident.

Anyone with information regarding the case is asked to call the Police Department’s dispatch center at 916-264-5471, or Sacramento Valley Crime Stoppers at 916-443-4357, or submit an anonymous tip using the free “P3 Tips” smartphone app. Callers can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.

Cathy Locke: 916-321-5287, @lockecathy