A use-of-force investigation is under way in Anaheim, where a 35-year-old man is fighting for his life following a struggle with police, who admitted Thursday to using physical force to restrain him but insisted he was not beaten, choked, struck or Tasered.
It is unclear if Christopher Eisinger, who is in a coma, will survive, Anaheim police Sgt. Daron Wyatt said.
Eisinger was arrested Friday night for allegedly trying to break into a home and several vehicles. Officers who responded to the 1300 block of South East Gates Street Friday night spotted the suspect in a backyard and chased him to the 3000 block of West Ball Road, police said.
According to police, Eisinger violently resisted by kicking and ripping his arms away. Officers used "control holds and physical force'' to restrain him.
"The officers used control holds, they used physical force during this contact to overcome his resistance and take him into custody for the suspected crimes,'' Anaheim Acting Police Chief Julian Harvey said. "The preliminary review shows the officers did not employ a carotid restraint, did not employ impact weapons, did not employ a Taser or deliver any strikes to the suspect.''
But once he was handcuffed, Eisinger stopped breathing and went into full cardiac arrest, police said. Paramedics were called and Eisinger was revived and taken to a hospital. According to police, Eisinger on Monday was being treated for facial injuries and brain swelling.
Police said Eisinger appeared to be under the influence of narcotics when he was arrested.
The Orange County District Attorney's Office is investigating the arrest. The police department is also conducting a "major incident review.''
Eisinger has a criminal history of drug use and resisting arrest, according to court records.
In his most recent case, Eisinger pleaded guilty to possession of drug paraphernalia Oct. 5 and was sentenced to 10 days in jail. He pleaded guilty to the same charge Dec. 30, 2016, and was sentenced then to 150 days in jail.
Eisinger pleaded guilty to vandalism, resisting arrest, assault on a peace officer, battery on a peace officer and resisting police, all misdemeanors, on Dec. 8, 2016, and was sentenced to 150 days in jail.
On Aug. 17, 2016, Eisinger pleaded guilty to possession of drugs in jail and was sentenced to a total of nearly a year in jail as he kept having his probation revoked and reinstated, according to court records.
On June 17, 2016, he pleaded guilty to resisting police, battery on a peace officer and being under the influence of drugs, all misdemeanors, and was sentenced to 45 days in jail, but was allowed to do 22 days of community service in lieu of jail, according to court records. He was also put into an anger management program, according to court records.
Eisinger was convicted in 2005 on marijuana sales charges, but he had the convictions dismissed in 2012 after utilizing a state law allowing for it after clearing probation, according to court records.