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January 28, 2015

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Metro identifies officers, sergeants in 2 fatal struggles

Two Die After Struggles with Officers

Metro Police Capt. Randy Montandon discusses two recent cases Thursday afternoon in which men died while in the custody of Metro officers.

Metro Police have identified seven officers and two sergeants involved in two deadly confrontations within four days this month.

The latest incident involved a man who died in police custody Wednesday night after a struggle with officers at a home in the southwest Las Vegas Valley, police said.

In that instance, the man, who hasn't been identified, had not been taking his prescribed medication and was behaving erratically, according to a social worker who called police to a residence in the 7700 block of Scoby Court.

Officers placed the man, who police said weighed more than 300 pounds, into a lateral vascular neck restraint designed to cut blood flow to the brain. Police said officers are trained in the maneuver to stop a struggling person without using weapons.

The three officers involved in Wednesday's incident are Michael Rowley, 32, employed with Metro since June 2001; Kevin Koval, 32, employed with the department since August 2002; and Jerry Ybarra, 32, employed with Metro since January 2000. In addition, Sgt. Mike Daley, 53, was also at the scene. Daley has been with Metro since January 1984, police said.

In the first incident on Nov. 1, officers responded at 6:22 p.m. Sunday to the 500 block of North 14th Street regarding a report of a fight involving two roommates, one of whom reportedly was armed with a knife, police said.

One of the men, Daniel Morantes, 47, became combative with officers and began screaming and yelling, as well as displaying combative behavior, police said. Morantes stopped breathing after being placed in a "bear hug" by police and died a short time later at Sunrise Hospital.

Officers involved in the Morantes incident are Shane Black, 27, employed with Metro since January 2006; Steve Morris, 39, with the department since March 2006; Matthew Eschker, 24, with Metro since December 2007; and Elvin-Ron Valle, 31, employed with the department October 2007. Sgt. Bryan Miller, 41, has been employed with Metro since March 1996.

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