Sacramento Police release body cam footage of man wrestling officer to the ground, stealing duty weapon
A man suspected of stealing a police officer’s gun and shooting it several times in February was found dead in his Sacramento County jail cell Tuesday night.
A guard came by to check on Juan Heras-Castro’s single cell about 9:56 p.m. and found nothing unusual, according to a Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department news release. At 10:38 p.m., jail staff began providing inmates with their nightly medication.
Six minutes later, they found Heras-Castro, 33, unresponsive in his cell with no evidence of foul play, according to the release. Sheriff’s deputies attempted life-saving measures but were unsuccessful, and declared him dead about 11 p.m.
Police took Heras-Castro to Mercy General Hospital for a psychiatric evaluation in late February after finding him behaving erratically and armed with a knife near Sacramento State’s campus. He then fled the hospital into a nearby residential area before wrestling with a police officer near 39th and H streets.
During the struggle, Heras-Castro allegedly took the officer's gun from his holster and fired several shots. An off-duty firefighter who happened to be in the area intervened and helped the officer detain him without serious injury.
Body-cam video of the incident was released after Heras-Castro was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder, which court records show was the Modesto resident’s first criminal charge in Sacramento or Stanislaus counties.
Benjy Egel: 916-321-1052, @BenjyEgel