Attorney for family of man who stopped breathing in CHP custody speaks out

Jason Gonzalez stopped breathing after being detained, died 5 days later
Posted at 6:35 PM, Nov 26, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-26 22:12:23-05

BAKERSFIELD, CA. — The investigation continues into an incident where a man stopped breathing after being detained by California Highway Patrol.

According to the coroner's report, 40-year-old Jason Gonzalez's cause of death was complications from physical restraint with neck compression, with contributing factors of methamphetamine and heart disease.

The death was ruled an accident, however, an attorney representing Gonzalez's family is now speaking out and questioning how the incident was handled.

"To me, there is head trauma. I know there was physical altercation, but I mean why was there neck compression?" attorney Darrell York said.

Authorities said Gonzalez was walking into traffic on Highway 58 on August 30, 2019, then became combative and resistant when officers tried to approach him.

Officials said Gonzalez was eventually detained and stopped breathing shortly after. He died at the hospital five days later.

York said it is too early to tell, but believes there is an indication excessive force was used that day.

"It looks like he was hit by a Mack Truck, I mean there was bruising all over his face and you don't get bruising postmortem. So someone did a number on this guy. How? I don't know," York said.

We reached out to CHP to ask whether or not officers are allowed to use a neck compression or restraint. An official said they could not comment pending their investigation on the case.

23ABC News has requested multiple public record requests involving this case to try and find out more information about what happened that day.

The Bakersfield Police Department is still conducting their investigation on the incident.