MILLBRAE, Calif. (KTVU) - A man died after he was involved in a struggle with San Mateo County sheriff's deputies Wednesday afternoon in Millbrae, law enforcement officials said.
The San Mateo County Sheriff’s Department said the man struggled with deputies and died at the hospital after being taken into custody.
The San Mateo County District Attorney’s Office is investigating the incident, which was initially called a "officer-involved critical incident" when the sheriff's department tweeted about it just before 4 p.m.
Kevin Ramirez works in the area and said at around 1 p.m., he saw a man walking in out and out of traffic on El Camino. He said deputies attempted to stop him but the man wouldn't listen.
“He looked kind of suspicious at the moment,” said Ramirez. “He walked back and forth in the middle of the street deciding should I go toward the hotel or toward this side. They were yelling at him to calm down, relax, just trying to talk but he kept resisting. He threw all his stuff down and started running.”
SMCSheriff was involved in an officer involved critical incident this afternoon in #Millbrae. It was not a shooting. This is an ongoing investigation. News release to follow.— San Mateo County S.O (@SMCSheriff) October 3, 2018
The San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office said the man assaulted one deputy who exited his vehicle to approach him and continued to struggle with more deputies, as they showed up to the 1300 block of El Camino Real.
They tased him down,” said Ramirez. “Once he was on the ground they were telling him stop.”
Ramirez said they had difficulty subduing the man, tasing him more than once. They eventually tackled and handcuffed him.
“I never thought I would see something like that out here especially this is a calm area,” said Ramirez.
An autopsy will determine the exact cause of death and toxicology reports will reveal if drugs played a role.
The district attorney’s office said the individual is a 36-year-old resident of San Mateo County.
The officer who was assaulted was also taken to the hospital, where he was treated for his injuries.
The incident resulted in El Camino Real's closure between Millwood Drive and Santa Helena Avenue.
It’s unclear how many deputies will be on leave during the investigation.
KTVU's Azenith Smith contributed to this report
Spoke with witness who snapped this photo of man on ground following altercation with @SMCSheriff deputies today. Witness says deputies tased man repeatedly, after man attacked deputies. Man later died. #ktvu 10p pic.twitter.com/r0Obc418Te— Azenith Smith (@AzenithKTVU) October 4, 2018