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Man dies after arrest in grocery store, video shows deputies using force

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Posted at 10:30 AM, Dec 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-21 17:35:10-05

A prayer rally was held over the weekend for a 33-year-old man who died after being arrested by sheriff’s deputies in a Southern California grocery store.

The man, Ernie Serrano, was at the store last Tuesday night in line to pay for his items. Sheriff’s deputies say when they arrived at the store, they saw Serrano tussling with a security guard and attempting to take the guard’s gun, according to a department press release.

“While detaining Serrano, he continued fighting with the deputies and did not comply with their commands. At that time, a use of force occurred,” Sgt. Lionel Murphy with the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department states in the release.

Serrano was arrested on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon. Deputies say Serrano then stopped breathing.

"Medical personnel on scene rendered aid and was able to obtain a pulse. Serrano was transported to a local hospital for medical treatment. While at the hospital, Serrano’s condition deteriorated, and he was later pronounced deceased," the department states.

Serrano’s family disagrees on what happened in the store, and point to video shared on social media from a witness showing a deputy walk up to Serrano and beat him a few times with a baton before another deputy tackles him.

The department said the use of force in Serrano’s arrest is under investigation at this time.

The family is raising money for Serrano’s memorial services.

Warning: the video may be difficult to watch and the post contains strong language.