OCDA issues Custodial Death Report in the case of Ray Anthony Cruz

Orange County District Attorney (OCDA) Todd Spitzer released the investigation findings and legal conclusions of the Orange County Sheriff’s Department (OCSD) custodial death of Ray Anthony Cruz.

The full letter, “OCDA Report Custodial Death Investigation – Ray Anthony Cruz,”is available at www.orangecountyda.org by selecting Officer-Involved Shootings and Custodial Death Letters under the Reports pull-down menu. The relevant video/audio evidence is available on the OCDA webpage http://orangecountyda.org/reports/videoandaudio/default.asp.

This article was released by the Orange County District Attorney’s Office. Below follow excerpts of the Ray Anthony Cruz custodial death report released by the OCDA.

On July 26, 2018, OCDA Special Assignment Unit (OCDASAU) Investigators responded to Orange County Global Medical Center (OCGMC), where [64-year-old inmate Ray Anthony] Cruz died while in custody after receiving medical treatment at the hospital.
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On July 10, 2018, at approximately 5:23 p.m., Cruz was arrested by the Garden Grove Police Department (GGPD) for Corporal Injury of a Spouse, Kidnapping, and False Imprisonment. On July 11, 2018, at approximately 3:30 a.m., Cruz was booked into the Orange County Men’s Jail (OCMJ) and housed in Module A, Tank 5, Bunk 62.
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On July 15, 2018, at approximately 4:45 p.m., Cruz contacted OCSD Deputy Daniel Thomas and told Deputy Thomas that he was experiencing chest pains. […] The nurse on duty determined that Cruz needed to go to the hospital and requested paramedics be called.
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At approximately 5:00 p.m., OCFA personnel arrived at the OCMJ Medical Dispensary and made contact with Cruz. […] At approximately 5:31 p.m., Cruz arrived at OCGMC and was released into the care of emergency room personnel. Cruz was admitted with acute myocardial infarction and subsequently diagnosed with an anterior wall myocardial infarction. Cruz was taken to the Cath Lab where a stent was placed in his left anterior descending artery. Cruz appeared to be recovering better than expected from the surgery.

However, on July 16, 2018, his health began to deteriorate. An Echo Cardiogram revealed a Post-Myocardial Infarction Ventricular Septal defect. The attending Thoracic Surgeon performed surgery in an attempt to repair the defect and Cruz was placed on a heart-lung machine. After the surgery, Cruz responded well and his vital signs all appeared to be improving. However, because of the trauma of the multiple heart complications, Cruz was in pulmonary and renal failure. Despite the surgery, Cruz’s health continued to deteriorate over the next several days.

On July 22, 2018, the attending surgeon informed Cruz’ wife, Jane Doe, that further medical intervention was futile and that Cruz’s condition was terminal. Doe agreed to remove Cruz from life support. However, due to Doe being the victim in Cruz’s Domestic Violence arrest, OCGMC was reluctant to honor Doe’s wishes. On July 26, 2018, at approximately 11:00 a.m., the attending surgeon met with Cruz’ family. Cruz’ family was informed that Cruz’ condition was terminal. The family agreed and requested Cruz be removed from life support. At approximately 12:24 p.m., Cruz was removed from life support. At approximately 12:39 p.m., Cruz was pronounced deceased.
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Although the OCSD owed Cruz a duty of care, the evidence does not support a finding that this duty was in any way breached, either intentionally (as required for murder) or through criminal negligence (as required for involuntary manslaughter). After Cruz informed Deputy Thomas of his medical complications, Deputy Thomas reacted quickly to get Cruz the medical attention Cruz required. OCSD personnel and other individuals under the supervision of the OCSD provided Cruz with immediate and diligent medical attention.
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[A]ll the evidence supports the conclusion that OCSD acted reasonably and appropriately in handling Cruz’s medical condition.

For the Ray Anthony Cruz report in its entirety, visit the OCDA website.