FULLERTON (AP) — A mentally ill man who suffered head and neck injuries during arrest in Fullerton last week was taken off life support and died Sunday afternoon.

Ron Thomas, the father of Kelly Thomas, told the Orange County Register Monday that his 37-year-old son was homeless and suffering from schizophrenia when he was beaten in the course of arrest.

Fullerton police Sgt. Andrew Goodrich says officers were investigating reports of a man attempting to burglarize cars last week when they spotted Thomas.

Goodrich says Thomas fought officers when they tried to search him, and it took more than five officers to subdue him.

Two officers suffered moderate injuries in the fight, including broken bones.

Goodrich says police are conducting an internal investigation and prosecutors have opened a criminal investigation into the incident.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Comments (12)
  1. AngieH says:

    If the father is so worried about the situation, perhaps he should’ve been taking care of his mentally disabled son instead of letting him live on the streets. Here comes another “wrongful death” suit.

    1. Jack says:

      I agree about the lawsuit.
      If it takes 5 officers to take down a homeless guy perhaps the officers
      need to hit the weight room & get stronger

      1. .cop lover says:

        do you not know that many people who are mentally unstable are also strong as an ox it does not shock me that it took 5 officers

  2. PaulB says:

    AngieH – I don’t think you have ever tried to live with a seriously mentally ill person, family member or not. Fighting with the police shows bad judgement and is futile. However, it is frequent with mentally ill person who have impaired judgement. And yes, when aroused, a mentally ill person, man or woman, can become super strong.

    1. AngieH says:

      Your reply has nothing to do with the fact that the father needs to take some responsibility.

      1. icecream says:

        A father of an adult is very limited in what they can do unless the ill person in on an invountary hold , , , , , , , , ,

    2. sad dad says:

      totally wrong ICEMAN parents are not limited no matter what age our child is i have a 24 year old sone just like this who went off his meds ONCE when he was 20 he freeked out when i entered his room to give him his mail thought i was INVADING his space and that i was there to hurt him my son is about 140 or so i am over 200 lbs he picked my up over his head and tossed me out a window and 10 feet into the yard it took 5 officers to subdue him AFTER he gave them a decent butt kickin and YES they beat the tar out of him also now four years later my wife and i have a court order that allows us to monitor him daily to see that hes on his meds he lives on his own has a lady friend and a decent job but my wife and i monitor him daily AS A GOOD PARENT SHOULD the judge gave us the order with out blinking an eye and thanked us for caring enough to seek it

      1. sad dads's happy son says:

        I was not so sure i wanted to reply to this board but i’ve been reading to much stuff that is plain wrong i am SAD DADS SON im the one who tossed my dad out a window and into our lawn here are the facts of my life i cant speak about the dead mans perticulars but this is mine
        i am a PARANOID Schizophrenic which means just what it says I GET PARANOID easy you can approach me very calm and very nicely and i will think your out to harm me (if im off my meds) when this happens there is nearly no way to convince me your not trying to harm me.
        when i went off my meds that one time my dad mearly brought me my mail and i went off on him as the police tried to subdue me ALL 5 OF THEM i kept tossing them off like rags i weigh 142 right now was a little smaller then some of the police were as big as dad over 200 lbs i broke ones arm hit another in the head with one of the garden bricks on my moms flower beds kicked another in the groin and riped the shirt off the only female officer on scene
        as they were trying to subdue me i was also pounding my own head into the grass which brings me to my point here. i’ve read that the police are thought to have pounded this mans head into the ground?? i have not seen video of this so i wont say they did not do it BUT knowing how i react to my fears when off my meds i think it is totally possible the man was pounding his own head and any contact the police have with his head at that point MIGHT be them trying to stop him from this
        in my case when i did this i clearly didnt do much damage the grass was not so hard BUT i did have a decent concussion and i DID have damage to my neck from the force of the officer pulling my hair to stop me and me forcing my head back down
        also with me i still suffer times when i think someone is after me but it is managed with my meds so if i suffer this ON meds how much more so would this man OFF MEDS
        so in short those who say a parent cant interveine with an adult child YOUR WRONG yes some might resent the parent BUT SO WHAT they would still be alive to resent you.
        and to those who say this man was so small and so helpless YOUR SO SO WRONG when i am in my normal mind i play heck lifting more then 150 pounds working out with my dad
        but on the day i hurt my dad i lifted 230 pounds over my head and tossed it 3 feet across my room out the window and 10 feet into the lawn so please do not ever think a person like me who is small in size is helpless or weak when we have a episode like this we can and often do beat the tar out of people twice our size OH and as for feeling pain WE DONT think of it like this when you get in a fight your emotions go up your adriniline (not sure i spelled that well) goes up which gives you more energy and strength then you might have normally well with me my adriniline is always higher then yours would be so when i wig out and it goes higher still WELL im not feelin no pain at all yes we still get damaged but its pain that makes a person stop so with people like me if there is less or NO PAIN then the cops are in deep crud till they find a way to as in my case TAKE MY LEGS OUT which is what they did they broke both my legs with a baton which of couse now would not hold me up so i fell and thats when they dog piled me and cuffed me
        as i said i dont know that my case is also the case with this man BUT IT IS POSSIBLE so let those checking into this do their jobs with out all the anger from us to hinder their work

      2. Jenni says:

        Sad dad’s happy son:
        there is evidence that he was beaten in the head with a taser.. NO ONE said his head was beaten in the ground..BUT lets just say the cops that subdued you did the Same thing to this guy..perhaps he would not be dead…the huge difference here is the cops that dealth with you are not the fullerton 6. More than 50 ppl witnessed that attack and not one time did they try to cuff him..they beat him even tho he stopped moving and that came from a witness that was standing very close to them. they beat him until he didnt make any more sounds..by then it was far too late to save him the damage was done…..the fullerton 6 are criminals and need to be prosecuted..

  3. AngieH says:

    Perhaps you should learn English before writing a response… in English!