Chula Vista assault suspect dies after arrest

Posted at 4:23 PM, Oct 15, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-15 19:29:37-04

CHULA VISTA (KGTV) -- The Chula Vista Police Department is working to determine what caused a suspect to die more than 12-hours after he was taken into custody following a violent confrontation with officers.

Jason Allen Watts, 29, of Spring Valley, was taken into custody Friday just before midnight after two people inside the 7-11 store at 403 Third Avenue reported him to appear under the influence of a substance and was refusing to leave. 

CVPD Capt. Phil Collum said Watts also called police to report that unknown persons were outside the store and were threatening to shoot him.

Arriving officers encountered Watts inside the store but he ran behind the clerk’s counter and failed to comply with officer’s repeated orders, according to Collum.

"Officers spent time talking to Watts, trying to deescalate the situation to calm him and gain his compliance," Collum said. "As officers were talking to Watts, he punched a cash register on the counter and lifted it as though preparing to throw it at the officers."

Collum said officers tried to take Watts into custody using less-lethal tools, including taser and pepper spray.

Watts was eventually arrested but paramedics where called to the scene to evaluate him after he "continued to violently resist the officers," Collum said.

The suspected was transported by ambulance to Paradise Valley Hospital for treatment where he was deemed suitable for incarceration by medical staff.

"While being booked into the San Diego County Central Detention Facility, further evaluations indicated Watts may need additional medical treatment," Collum said.

Watts was subsequently transported by ambulance to UCSD Medical Center. 

"Once at UCSD, Watts began suffering medical complications and underwent treatment by medical staff," Collum said.  

Watts was pronounced dead at 12:21 p.m. Saturday afternoon.

The Chula Vista Police Department’s Crimes of Violence unit is investigating.  The cause of the death is unknown at this time.