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Schizophrenic Man Dies After Suffering Head, Neck Injuries During Arrest

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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