The Kern County District Attorney's office has ruled deputies were justified in their use of force against a man who died from methamphetamine intoxication after being restrained.
On Dec. 13, 2017, deputies were dispatched to the 24200 block of Juniper Avenue in Boron to reports of a man under the influence of drugs and acting strangely.
The reporting party said the man, Nicholas Lovett, was acting "erratic, hallucinating and touching himself inappropriately," according to sheriff's officials.
Before deputies arrived, Lovett tried breaking into homes to "get his mother," according to prosecutors.
Deputies found Lovett in the 24400 block of Joshua Avenue and ordered him to the ground. He initially complied, officers said, but resisted as they attempted to handcuff him. Deputies tried using control holds and pepper spray to subdue Lovett, described as 6-foot-4 and 260 pounds.
A nearby resident helped the deputies, according to a DA's release, and they managed to handcuff Lovett.
Immediately afterward, Lovett began having a seizure. Medical aid was summoned, but 20 minutes later Lovett was pronounced dead, according to the release.
An autopsy found Lovett's death was an accident with meth intoxication the cause. Contributing factors were hypertensive heart disease, obesity and physical restraint, the release said.
"Lovett committed a variety of crimes that required deputies to take him into custody," according to the release. "The force used by deputies was necessary to take Lovett into custody because he resisted and fought with them."