Napa State Hospital inmate dies after scuffle with police

May 2, 2012 12:47:33 PM PDT
The Napa County coroner's office is investigating the death of a Napa State Hospital patient on Tuesday, a county sheriff's captain said.

Brandon Joseph Coates, 29, died after a scuffle with two Napa State Hospital police officers Tuesday morning, Capt. Tracey Stuart said.

The scuffle occurred when Coates became extremely aggressive after receiving an injection, Stuart said.

Hospital staff had talked Coates into going into a private room where a nurse would inject him with a sedative, Stuart said. A nurse waited for hospital police officers to arrive before giving Coates the shot, and Coates cooperated and sat on a bed, Stuart said.

After receiving the shot, the nurse and the police officers started to leave the room, Stuart said. Coates then got off the bed and attacked two police officers from behind, striking them in the head with his fists, Stuart said.

The blows were glancing and the officers were not injured, Stuart said.

Police wrestled with Coates for between one and three minutes, and eventually handcuffed him, according to Stuart.

Coates, who is 6 feet 4 inches tall and weighs 300 pounds, was on his knees with his upper body against the bed when he stopped breathing, Stuart said.

Staff members administered CPR while waiting for an ambulance, but Coates died at the scene, Stuart said.

Hospital spokeswoman Deborah Moore said Coates was pronounced dead at 10:38 a.m.

Coates had been admitted to the hospital after a criminal conviction in Alameda County, Stuart said.

Alameda County District Attorney's Office spokeswoman Teresa Drenick said Coates was convicted in 2002 of a robbery that occurred in 2000.


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