Northeast Bakersfield

Another man dies while in custody of Kern County deputies

Another man dies while in custody of Kern County deputies

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) - The family of a man who died after a confrontation with Kern County deputies is looking for answers.

"We're thinking, 'What happened?'" said Joe Gomez, son-in-law to Ronnie Ledesma Jr.

The family produced photographs of Ledesma at Kern Medical Center after an incident on Aug. 19. According to a press release by the Kern County Sheriff's Office, deputies responded to the Walgreens store at 2629 Mt. Vernon Ave. at about 8:35 p.m. regarding suspicious persons. Two males were inside the store acting strangely, and both were possibly under the influence of a controlled substance.

The first deputy to arrive on scene contacted Ledesma, who was displaying symptoms of being under the influence, said the press release. Officials said Ledesma became uncooperative when the deputy attempted to detain him. Ledesma resisted arrest and fought with the deputy for approximately two minutes before additional deputies arrived, including a K-9 unit.

The dog bit Ledesma, and deputies used "impact weapons" and control holds to subdue Ledesma. Officials did not say what "impact weapons" were used.

Ledesma was taken to Kern Medical Center for injuries sustained during his arrest. The press release said Ledesma developed medical complications and was admitted for further treatment. His condition worsened, and Ledesma died on Wednesday. A cause of death has not yet been determined.

Preliminary toxicological reports revealed Ledesma had PCP, amphetamines and Benzodiazapine in his system.

But, the man's family claimed they were never notified Ledesma was in the hospital until days later when he was on his death bed.

Ledesma is the third man in four months to die while in custody of Kern County deputies.

Sheriff Donny Youngblood is expected to address the incident on Friday.