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Monday, April 06, 2009

California man dies

April 6, 2009

Fresno police have identified the man who died while being taken into police custody early Monday morning. Ricardo Varela, 41, died after police made several non-lethal attempts to subdue him after he resisted arrest. Varela was being pursued by officers after running a red light in Southeast Fresno. Two blocks from that intersection he stopped at a gas station. Police used bean bag guns and a Taser when Varela confronted them, and eventually officers wrestled him to the ground.
The 5'8", 350 pound man started having trouble breathing and was transported to the hospital before he died. Police Chief Jerry Dyer said he had a conversation with Varela's mother today, who told him Varela had a drug problem, which Dyer said may have contributed to Varela's actions this morning.

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