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Man dies after chase with police

August 27, 2013|By Jeremiah Dobruck

A Costa Mesa man led police on a foot chase Sunday across the 55 Freeway in Santa Ana before he stopped breathing, Santa Ana police said Tuesday.

Raymond Runge, 44, died at Western Medical Center in Santa Ana on Monday morning, said Santa Ana Cpl. Anthony Bertagna. The Orange County coroner's office did not report an exact time or cause of death.

Officers were responding to an unrelated call at Hotel Terrace near the 55 when they saw Runge running without shoes through a parking lot and yelling, Bertagna said.

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Shortly before 1 a.m. Sunday, Runge ran up an embankment next to the freeway and stopped at an overpass, where officers feared he would jump, according to police.

But when the officers approached, Runge ran onto the freeway, crossing the southbound and northbound lanes until he returned to the southbound side and lay down in the carpool lane, Bertagna said.

"They attempt to detain him, and the fight is on," Bertagna said.

During a scuffle with police, Runge stopped breathing, according to the corporal, who did not know the extent of force used by officers but said they did not use their guns or stun guns.

Officers performed CPR on Runge until paramedics arrived and took him to Western Medical Center.

Bertagna said police suspect Runge was under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time and are awaiting a coroner's toxicology report, which can take up to six weeks.

Santa Ana police are treating the incident as an in-custody death, Bertagna said, which means internal affairs and the Orange County district attorney will investigate.

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