Man dies while Chandler Police attempt to make arrest

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Ralph Gamboa died Friday afternoon after Chandler Police attempted to place him under arrest. This booking photo is from November 2004. By Andrew Michalscheck Ralph Gamboa died Friday afternoon after Chandler Police attempted to place him under arrest. This booking photo is from November 2004. By Andrew Michalscheck
By Andrew Michalscheck By Andrew Michalscheck

CHANDLER, Ariz. -- A 41-year-old man died Friday afternoon after Chandler Police attempted to place him under arrest.

Officers responded to the 1100 block of E. Senate Circle where they encountered Ralph Gamboa in the front yard of a home.

Police were able to identify Gamboa through an earlier trespass investigation, and learned that he had a felony-caution warrant for his arrest.

Gamboa reportedly began fighting officers when they tried to place him under arrest. Neighbors describe a violent struggle.

"They were really just trying to restrain him, but he kept kicking and fighting," said Andrea Barton, who lives across the street.

Chandler Police Detective Seth Tyler said at least five officers were involved in the struggle with Gamboa and a Taser was deployed.

"My understanding is it was a very violent fight, a hand-to-hand fight," Tyler said. "One of our officers deployed a Taser and I was told it did not have any effect on him."

Additional units were called in, along with the Chandler Fire Department. Shortly after the Chandler Fire Department arrived Gamboa became unresponsive.

He was rushed to a hospital where he was subsequently pronounced dead.

The incident took place outside a home where Gamboa showed up on Thursday night asking if he could store his weed whacker.

"He seemed pretty hyper," said homeowner Gary Gonzales. Gonzales allowed him to store the weed whacker and retrieve it today.

Gamboa was known to roam around the neighborhood on his bike and ask residents if he could mow their lawns.

But by Friday morning one neighbor was fed up with Gamboa continuing to show up and called 911 to report him for trespassing.

Around 12:30pm officers found Gamboa in Gonzales' front lawn, apparently pulling weeds and attempted to arrest him.

Officers involved in the incident sustained injuries, but they do not appear to be serious.

Detectives from the Chandler Police Department’s Robbery/Homicide Unit continue to investigate the case.

All of the officers involved in the physical struggle with Gamboa have been placed on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation.