A Santa Ana man who ran down a street shirtless and screaming died early Friday, shortly after officers tackled him, police said.
Police officers got a call about 12:30 a.m. about a man in the 100 block of South Harbor Boulevard wearing camouflage pants and no shirt who was running south in the northbound lanes of traffic, Lt. Robert Helton said.
Police officers found Robert M. Haro, 31, in the 500 block of South Harbor Boulevard, where "they believed the subject was possibly mentally unstable because of his bizarre behavior," Helton said.
The officers, who intended to arrest Haro and bring him to a local hospital for a 72-hour observation, approached him with caution, Helton said, but Haro began running away.
Three or four officers tackled Haro so they could place him in handcuffs, Helton said. He was face down.
When the officers turned him over, they saw that Haro had stopped breathing, Helton said.
One officer began cardiopulmonary resuscitation until paramedics arrived, Helton added.
Haro was transported to Garden Grove Hospital, where he died at 1:20 a.m., Helton said.
Investigators from the Orange County district attorney's office and from the Santa Ana Police Department's internal affairs division are looking into the incident.
Such investigations are a department policy when a suspect dies while in police custody, Helton said.
Autopsy results were not available late Friday, according to Sgt. Art Echternacht.
Family members said they were baffled by Haro's death.
"I don't know--I don't believe it happened," said Haro's father, John, of Fountain Valley. He said he last saw his son Thursday.
Haro was unemployed, but he occasionally made money by collecting electronic or mechanical items that businesses discarded. He sold them at swap meets, his father said.
The younger Haro had a difficult time finding employment because of a criminal record he had stemming from an arrest for drug possession, according to his father.
After an arrest in Palm Springs on suspicion of cocaine possession, Haro was convicted and sent to state prison in 1988, according to the state Department of Corrections in Sacramento.
Haro was paroled a little more than a year later, according to state records.