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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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Homicide Investigated Near Tracy

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SAN JOAQUIN COUNTY – Authorities investigated the fatal shooting of a man Monday night just outside of the City of Tracy.

Shortly before 10:00pm Monday, deputies received a call of gunfire near the 26000 block of Lammers Road. Arriving deputies found a man who had been shot. The victim was identified as 58-year-old Eric Almason. He was pronounced deceased at the scene.

There was no available suspect information Tuesday, and the investigation was ongoing.

Anyone with information regarding this case is encouraged to contact the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office at (209) 446-4800 or Crime Stoppers at (209) 946-0600 where callers can remain anonymous.

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Several in Custody After Stolen Car Pursuit

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MODESTO – Authorities detained several occupants of a stolen vehicle Monday night that ended in South Modesto.

At about 9:00pm authorities located a vehicle that had been reported stolen near Hatch Road and Richland Avenue. A brief pursuit took place but was called off after the vehicle turned onto Dallas Street from West Hatch Road.

The Stanislaus County Sheriff Air Support Unit was able to follow the vehicle from above as it traveled west to the end of Glenn Avenue. The car was then parked on Imperial Avenue and the occupants attempted to walk away.

Stanislaus Sheriff Deputies and Ceres Police Officers set up a perimeter in the neighborhood and quickly detained two passengers. The driver was taken into custody a short time later in the backyard of a home.

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Robbery Reported at Sandwich Shop

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MODESTO – Police responded to a report of a robbery at a local sandwich shop late Monday afternoon.

At about 6:30pm officers with the Modesto Police Department responded to a report of an armed robbery at a Subway sandwich shop near the area of Floyd and Roselle Avenues. Early reports indicate the suspect took the register at gunpoint and fled the area.

Anyone with information regarding this case is encouraged to contact the Modesto Police Department at (209) 572-9500 or Crime Stoppers at (209) 521-4636 where callers can remain anonymous.

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