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Modesto Police Releases Video Detailing In-Custody Death

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MODESTO – Authorities released several body worn camera videos and 911 calls Wednesday detailing an in-custody death that occurred on September 27th, 2020.

The videos show the apprehension of 33 year old Emilio Villa Mora on Claus Road after several 911 calls. Some of the calls were placed by Villa Mora himself, claiming members of the Cartel were after him.

One call was from a resident reporting someone in their backyard, and another from a few streets to the north indicated that Villa Mora was attempting to gain access to a vehicle. That vehicle had a child in the backseat.

Police caught up with Villa Mora on Claus Road where they attempted to take him into custody. Villa Mora fled on foot with officers giving chase. A taser was used to try to stop him, but it was ineffective. One officer was able to tackle Villa Mora in front of a residence where he was handcuffed. He was placed in the back of a patrol vehicle and seatbelted in place. He was given water and medics were called to evaluate him. The video appears to show Villa Mora declining medical care.

Later in the 19 1/2 minute video, the officers transport Villa Mora to the residential area where he was positively identified by one of the residents. Authorities noted he did not appear to be in any distress. As the investigation progressed, officers checked on Villa Mora and found him slumped over in the back seat with a seatbelt wrapped around his neck.

Officers cut the seatbelt off Villa Mora who appears unresponsive at this point in the video and begin performing CPR. Police called medical personnel to transport him, but he died the morning of October first.

Authorities believe Villa Mora’s actions were induced by drug use or a mental health situation. They also believe he was able to remove his seatbelt and entangle himself, leading to his asphyxiation.

An investigation into the in-custody death was launched internally and by the Stanislaus County District Attorney’s Office. Officials ask anyone with information to contact the investigations division at (209) 572-9551.

Carlos Rodriguez is an Emmy Award winning photojournalist specializing in public safety and natural disasters. His passion for local news stems from a deep commitment to his community, with a selfless mission to inform the citizens of the valley. As he worked on assignment for 19 days at the devastating Camp Fire in Paradise, California, he spent most of his time helping survivors contact their loved ones to let them know they were ok. Carlos is a veteran of Univision, FOX, and Telemundo TV stations and a native of Modesto, California.

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Early Morning Fire Causes Damage in Stockton

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STOCKTON – Firefighters battled an early morning fire Sunday that caused significant damage to a structure.

Firefighters responded to reports of smoke from a building at about 1:40am. The building was located on the 300 block of South San Jose Street just south of the crosstown highway and west of Interstate 5.

Arriving firefighters found a building with visible fire from the back corner of the building. A crew on the roof also reported heavy fire in the attic.

The fire was brought under control shortly before 2:00am. A cause and damage estimate was not available at time of publication.

No injuries were reported.

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Stabbing Investigated in Modesto

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MODESTO – Authorities with the Modesto Police Department responded to a stabbing that injured several people Sunday morning.

At about 12:30am officers were called to an apartment complex on Tully Road for the report of a stabbing. Early reports indicate officers arrived and found three victims and the suspect had fled prior to their arrival.

At least two ambulances were called to the scene. No further details were available at time of publication.

Anyone with information regarding this case is encouraged to contact Crime Stoppers at (209) 521-4636 where callers can remain anonymous.

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Homicide Investigated in Salida

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SALIDA – Deputies with the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Office closed off a neighborhood to investigate a homicide Saturday night.

The incident happened shortly before 10pm near the intersection of San Martin Court and Pasatiempo Drive. Early reports indicate the incident was an assault with a deadly weapon, however there appeared to be on deceased person at the scene.

Both Stanislaus Sheriff Deputies and at least one California Highway Patrol Officer were on scene.

Details and circumstances leading up to the incident were scarce at time of publication.

Anyone with information regarding this case is encouraged to contact the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Office or Crime Stoppers at (209) 521-4636 where callers can remain anonymous.

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