Valley News -

Man dies after confrontation with CHP officer on Riverside freeway


Last updated 1/27/2019 at 1:07pm

RIVERSIDE - A 48-year-old man died following a confrontation with a California Highway Patrol officer, who deployed a stun gun to stop him from running into traffic on the Riverside (91) Freeway, authorities said on Friday, Jan. 25.

Leroy Richard Stephenson of Riverside suffered an unknown fatal disorder Thursday afternoon after he was arrested at the Adams Street off-ramp from the westbound Riverside Freeway.

According to CHP Officer Dan Olivas, motorists exiting the freeway called 911 about 12:20 p.m. to report Stephenson walking in the middle of the off-ramp, creating a safety hazard.

A patrolman reached the location within a few minutes and spotted the 6-foot-5-inch, 240-pound suspect on the ramp, in traffic, Olivas said.

"The officer directed the pedestrian away from the off-ramp traffic lanes,'' Olivas said. "The pedestrian failed to comply with the officer's orders and instead ran towards the freeway traffic lanes. In an effort to prevent the pedestrian from running into traffic lanes, the officer deployed his electronic control device.''

Olivas alleged that Stephenson continued to resist as the patrolman tried to handcuff him, but the officer was able to wrestle the suspect into custody.

Stephenson fell unconscious moments later, and an ambulance was summoned to take him to Parkview Community Hospital, where he died just before 2 p.m., according to Olivas.

The Riverside County Coroner's Office is investigating to determine Stephenson's likely cause of death.


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