Crime - Sacto 911

Shoplifting suspect dies after brawl with Carmichael grocery store security

A North Highlands man involved in a brawl with three security officers at a Carmichael grocery store Saturday evening died later that night, Sacramento County Sheriff’s Sgt. Shaun Hampton said.

The man, identified by the Sacramento County Coroner’s Office as Eric Eastland, 50, was suspected of shoplifting from the store before the altercation.

Sacramento County sheriff's deputies were called to the 4000 block of Manzanita Avenue, the location of the Bel Air supermarket, at around 8:40 p.m. after several people called 911 to report the fight.

Chelsea Minor, a Bel Air spokeswoman, said the altercation happened after Eastland filled a reusable bag with items without paying and headed toward the entrance.

“He made physical contact with the security agent when he was approached leaving the store without payment," Minor said. “It is not our policy to be forceful in any way.”

Eastland was already detained by the time deputies got there, Hampton said.

“He was looking as if he was not feeling well,” Hampton said. “He indicated that he had utilized some illegal drugs.”

Eastland told deputies he had taken methamphetamine earlier that day but had not taken his heart medication. Deputies started CPR after Eastland lost consciousness, Hampton said.

The Sheriff’s Department asked for Fire Department personnel to assist with the call, as they typically do when deputies respond to reports of an altercation, Hampton said. Eastland died at the hospital later that day, Hampton said.

Minor said three third-party security agents were involved in the incident. One was sent to the hospital with minor injuries.

Loss prevention agents are required to follow their employer's polices in instances of shoplifting, Hampton said.

Minor said she believed the loss prevention personnel, who are contracted by Bel Air through the Roseville-based company Monument Security, did follow proper protocol.

The Sacramento County district attorney will make the final determination as to whether the employees will face any charges in connection to Eastland's death, Hampton said.