Police apprehend agitated student following chase

Student captured by police is hauled away for medical observation.

Jessica Taylor

A Saddleback student assaulted a Campus Safety officer Wednesday and had to be subdued after a short chase. Paramedics were called to take him to Mission Hospital for observation.

The student allegedly entered the Student Health Center around 11:30 a.m. asking personal questions, according to another student in the Health Center. The nature of his questions prompted Health Center employees to alert Campus Police. The student then said he didn’t want police involvement and ran out of the building.

“I saw a cop take down a guy in the grass in front of the SSC building and Health Center,” said Ashley Gollwitzer, 21, kinesiology. “He was screaming and making a scene. The cop was struggling, so I figured I’d help. He needed to call for back up, I was his back up.”

Officer Santos Garcia responded to the Health Center’s call. While the student was squirming, Garcia attempted to handcuff him. Officials would not disclose the student’s name.

“The cop tried to handcuff him, but the handcuffs closed,” Gollwitzer said. “He had to get a second pair. I kept his feet still while the cop handcuffed him, then I gathered his belongings and broken pair of sunglasses in a pile. I walked away, turned around and I saw that the guy kicked the cop and ran away.

It is unclear whether or not the student was intoxicated.

“He was definitely on something,” Gollwitzer said. “I saw a recovery videotape with his books.”

The student kept yelling “I don’t have anything on me,” and vulgar remarks directed toward police officers. The student then kicked Garcia, shoved his shoulder into him and took off running.

“This crazy guy was running, with his pants falling down, handcuffed, and the police officer chasing after him,” said RemBrandt Hanslik, 24, intercultural studies. “The officer tackled him but it looked like the officer was struggling so a random guy came in a minute later to hold down his head.”

The perpetrator made his escape around the corner of the SSC building, but was taken down in the bushes between that and the HS building. Another student helped Garcia take down the offender, but he refused to give his name.

Garcia held the student for around 15 minutes while a group of students began to surround the scene. The student shouted racial slurs at onlookers when the Ladera Ranch Fire Department and paramedics arrived.

“There was a guy down in the bushes,” said Fire Apparatus engineer Robert Salcido. “We were called to check it out. They had him handcuffed.”

Officials at the scene decided to transport the student for observation.

“When [people] don’t act normal, they call us,” Salcido said. “We’re taking him to Mission Hospital to figure out what he has. We couldn’t clear him.”

According to witnesses, the student attended class this morning to take a midterm. He left class to speak privately with his instructor, but didn’t return to finish the exam. Shortly after that the student appeared in the Health Center.

According to Officer Dan Lincoln of the Campus Police, Garcia “was injured in the altercation and sustained minor injuries.”

An unidentified student helps Campus Safety Officer Santos Garcia subdue a student acting erratically on campus Wednesday.