On June 26, at about 11:18 a.m., a Santa Monica policeofficer patrolling in the area of Ocean Avenue and Pico Boulevard was flagged down by the driver of a vehicle parked at a meter.
When the officer advised dispatchers of the stop, she was informed they had just received a phone call from the same individual requesting assistance with a possibly suicidal friend who was making threats to his own life.
Eric Britton was seated in the back seat of the parked vehicle and appeared to be intoxicated. The officer learned from Britton’s friends that earlier in the day they had become worried about him when he started telling them he was insane and wanted to die. His friends put him in the car and were driving him to the hospital when Britton became extremely agitated and they worried he would jump out of the car into traffic.
The officer questioned Britton to determine his mental state. Britton told the officer he had been drinking heavily and was “just sad.” A firefighter and paramedic responded to the scene and offered to transport Britton to the hospital for evaluation, which he refused.
The officer made a decision to transport Britton via police car to a walk-in mental health facility; when she attempted to secured him in the back of her car, Britton became enraged and started screaming and struggling.
Several officers were able to place Britton in the back seat, but he continued to scream and started banging his head against the glass divider. In order to avoid additional harm, the fire department was called back to transport Britton to the hospital on a gurney.
When the officers moved Britton from the car to the ambulance, Britton bit one of the officers on the wrist, injuring the officer.
After being evaluated at the local hospital, Britton was transported to jail to be booked for battery on a police officer. Britton, 42, had bail set at $25,000.