San Bernardino County Sheriff

The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department in San Bernardino. (File Photo/Rick Sforza/Staff Photographer)

By Doug Saunders, The Sun
Posted: 04/17/15, 3:57 PM PDT |

HIGHLAND >> Sheriff’s officials Friday released the names of the four deputies involved in a deadly confrontation with a Highland man Wednesday.

Sgt. Mike Rude, deputies Shannon Deasey, Peter Gentry, and Gary Brandt, responded to the Valero Gas Station at 27767 Base Line early Wednesday morning for a call of vandalism, officials said.

That’s when officials said a man acting strange, later identified as Joseph Slater, 28, of Highland, was detained by one of the deputies.

“As the deputy attempted to place Slater in the backseat of his patrol vehicle, Slater became uncooperative and refused to sit inside,” the sheriff’s statement said. “The deputy deployed his pepper spray, but Slater continued to resist and tried to push the deputy back.”

The deputy got Slater partially inside the squad car before he escaped. The deputy tackled Slater and “force was used to overcome his resistance,” according to the Sheriff’s Department.

In the backseat of a squad car, Slater experienced a “significant medical emergency,” officials said.

Slater was taken to St. Bernardine Medical Center in San Bernardino, where he was pronounced dead.

Sheriff’s officials are in the midst of the in-custody death investigation.

“The Investigators have not completed their investigation,” sheriff’s spokeswoman Cindy Bachman said.” They still have a lot of surveillance video to view so we are not releasing any further detail at this time.”

The deputies remained on duty as of Friday.

The incident happened on the heels of several other controversial investigations involving sheriff’s deputies.

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