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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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Officer Involved Shooting Investigated in Tracy

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Officers examine a corner of Mosswood Court Friday afternoon where an officer involved shooting took place.

TRACY – One person who was said to be armed with a knife was rushed to a hospital Friday afternoon after being shot by a police officer.

Shortly before 2:00pm officers were called to the area of Mosswood Court for a report of a person with a knife chasing another. During the encounter an arriving officer fired his gun at the person said to be armed with a knife.

Officials at the scene said the person shot was rushed to a hospital in unknown condition. They had identified that person but were holding that information for a proper time.

The neighborhood was closed off while investigators responded to determine what took place.

No other injuries were reported.

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Aircraft Emergency Investigation Closes Mitchell Bridge

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Emergency personnel examine a crashed airplane near the Mitchel Road Bridge Wednesday afternoon.

MODESTO – An investigation into an aircraft emergency closed the northbound lanes of the Mitchell Road Bridge Wednesday afternoon.

At about 1:00pm emergency crews were dispatched to the fields east of the Mitchell Road Bridge north of the Tuolumne River for a report of a plane crash.

Arriving rescuers found a plane crashed face down into the ground near a group of trees. One person was deceased in the aircraft according to an official at the scene.

One witness at the scene said he was driving down Hatch Road when he noticed the plane at an awkward angle, but thought nothing of it at first.

No cause of the crash or estimated time of opening for Mitchell Road was available at time of publication.

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Double Homicide Investigated in Merced County, Warrant Issued For Suspect

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HILMAR – Authorities with the Merced County Sheriff’s Office are searching for a 40 year old man in connection to a double homicide that happened Tuesday night.

Authorities responded to the 19000 block of American Avenue regarding a possible homicide Tuesday night. Arriving deputies located two adult victims deceased.

Wednesday authorities identified 40 year old Victor Bazan as a suspect and issued a warrant for his arrest. Officials believe he is related to one of the victims, and he is known to be transient to the Modesto, Ceres and Turlock areas.

Relatives of one of the victims reaching out said a white stolen vehicle Bazan may have been traveling in was found abandoned in Bakersfield.

Anyone with information regarding Bazan’s whereabouts is encouraged to contact law enforcement immediately. He should not be approached.

Anyone with information regarding this case is encouraged to contact (209) 651-2852 where callers can remain anonymous.

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