Transient dies in police custody 5 days after fight at church

| January 4, 2012

SANTA ANA – A 53-year-old transient died during a mental-health evaluation Monday, several days after he was involved in a confrontation with officers who arrested him after a fight with churchgoers, police said.
Mario Marin reportedly died while undergoing treatment at UCI Medical Center, but since police were involved in the arrest that led to his being admitted to the facility, the incident is being treated as an in-custody death. Authorities have not released the cause of his death.

Marin was arrested after police received reports of a violent person at the City Lights Dream Center church in the 1200 block of North Ross Street just after 10 p.m. Dec. 28, Santa Ana police Cpl. Anthony Bertagna said.

Witnesses reportedly told police dispatchers that Marin was trying to fight with children and adults taking part in church services. Bertagna said Marin had a previously run-in at the church four weeks prior, when he was suspected of assaulting a pastor.

"When he showed up this time in the same combative behavior, they anticipated there would be a problem," Bertagna said.

Bertagna said several church members were able to overpower Marin, who screamed incoherently as they held him down.

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Category: Church Security

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