Defiant Homeless Man’s Death Ruled Drug-Related

James Lawrence Baumann, 51, Died After Struggling During Arrest Last March

Tuesday, August 20, 2013
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The coroner’s report filed for James Lawrence Baumann — a 51-year-old, mentally ill homeless man who was well acquainted with law enforcement — determined the cause of death to be “excited delirium syndrome” due to illicit drug use. Baumann became unresponsive while resisting deputies as he was being booked in the Santa Barbara County Jail last March, and died four days later in Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital. The final coroner’s report ends the internal investigation about Baumann’s sudden loss of consciousness while he was being taken into custody.

James Lawrence Baumann
Click to enlarge photo


James Lawrence Baumann

The incident began on March 23, when Santa Barbara police officers responded to a complaint at Alameda Park. The six-foot-four-inch, 240-pound man had reportedly attempted to grab those nearby while claiming he had a gun.

Five officers were required to detain Baumann with two hand-cuffs and a hobbler — a device used to prevent movement of subject’s legs — after he resisted arrest, tried to pull his arms free, and kicked officers with his feet. The report indicated that Baumann acted first “fidgety,” “agitated,” “confused,” “incoherent,” and later “combative.”

Once the profusely sweating Baumann arrived at the County Jail, the hobble was removed from his legs and he was escorted toward the building. The report states that Baumann “planted his feet,” pushed back with his body, and refused to go inside the jail. He dropped to his knees and then to his stomach on “his own accord.” The report stated he was yelling, “They are trying to kill me,” “You are going to hell,” and “I can’t breathe.”

Still in the prone position, the report stated, Baumann continued to be resistive and attempted to grab one of the custody deputy’s hands while kicking his feet. Deputies secured Baumann’s legs into a “figure four hold,” a technique known as “grappling.” Unable to maintain hold of Baumann’s legs, additional deputies assisted.

The report explains that deputies did not have their knees on the decedent’s back, but that they were “just maintaining control of his arms with the inside of their legs as they squatted on opposite sides of his upper torso” as he continued to be combative. During this time, deputies requested jail medical staff who tried to talk with the Baumann, but he began spitting blood from his mouth. Medical staff requested Baumann be lifted to an upright position to evaluate him. As they were moving him, Baumann stopped resisting and felt limp. A “sternum rub” was performed, but was unsuccessful. At this point, medical staff began CPR and called for paramedics.

The paramedics were able to restore his pulse, which had briefly stopped. He was transported to Cottage Hospital and taken to the intensive care unit, where he remained unresponsive. He died four days later after physicians withdrew life support when it was determined he would no longer have a quality of life without it.

Medical staff later reported that it was difficult to check Baumann because he was combative with deputies and “tremendously strong.” Medical staff also noted that the decedent’s head was to the side while he was in the prone position and did not recall him ever being “face down.” A surveillance camera caught portions of the incident on video and confirmed Baumann’s resistance as deputies tried to talk with him and maintain control of him.

Baumann had previously been booked more than 60 times into the County Jail since 2002. The coroner’s report stated that Baumann sustained “only minor abrasions.” The report did not indicate that any excessive use of force contributed to his medical emergency.

The toxicology report concluded that amphetamine, caffeine, and nicotine were found in Baumann’s system, while the coroner’s office determined that Baumann’s medical history is consistent with excited delirium, which can lead to death after an onset of bizarre and aggressive behavior, panic, and paranoia. He also suffered from cardiac disease, chronic alcohol abuse, and brain damage. The report noted Baumann had been previously diagnosed with chronic back pain, Type 2 diabetes, ADHD, decreased mental function, Hepatitis C, and hypertriglyceridemia.

Baumann is survived by his brother, father, and a 16-year-old daughter who is in foster care and was unable to be located.


Independent Discussion Guidelines

The guy's been arrested roughly every other month for over a decade. Why is yet another arrest the only option available? Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.

SezMe (anonymous profile)
August 20, 2013 at 2 a.m. (Suggest removal)

You're proposing opening up the State Mental Hospital System again? Or the magical network of "half-way houses" that guys like this refuse to abide by? It is financially unfeasible and wildly impractical to provide sufficient droves of qualified outreach workers to personally take care of the hundreds of thousands of alcohol and drug charged and/or mentally ill homeless patients out there. This guy, in a society that truly cared, would have some limitation on his personal freedoms due to diminished capacity for his own protection. Instead the left pushes for their personal "freedom" and the right just wants to lock them up

italiansurg (anonymous profile)
August 20, 2013 at 6:13 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Ironic that there was a whiskey ad (in my viewing) at the bottom of an article about someone that chronically abused alcohol (according to the article).

fredb93117 (anonymous profile)
August 20, 2013 at 6:55 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Suicide by cop.

AZ2SB (anonymous profile)
August 20, 2013 at 7:27 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Mine too fred; great point. Now if it was an add for a "craft distiller located in the Funk Zone" that would be different in this town...especially ironic since the original Rescue Mission is in the Funk Zone, right next to the Urban Wine Trail...

italiansurg (anonymous profile)
August 20, 2013 at 8:49 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Last I read coffee and cigarettes weren't illicit drugs.

Not familiar with amphetimenes and how wide a range of substances that includes.

Now alleged "defiance" that is a serious "drug" when it comes to the steroidal, power crazed and abusive employees protecting all of us.

If this individual had been in jail as many times as reported then rational county employees at the jail were surely aware of his medical background which would be cause for any normal individual to treat this man with a little more concern and a lot less violence.

I wonder what the rest of the video tape reveals about the encounter aside from the excerpt that "confirmed Baumann’s resistance as deputies tried to talk with him and maintain control of him"

I'd love to hear that convesation.

anon111 (anonymous profile)
August 20, 2013 at 11:40 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Don't you just love the "Conspiracy" folks on here?? Glad to see anon111 has taken the place of spiritwalker. Always blame someone else for your own demise. NEVER EVER take responsibility for your own actions.

anon111, can you give us all a play by play on how you would handle these types of people? Then, I suggest you travel to the SBPD, SBSO and CHP and give them training on your findings and go through actual physical training scenarios at their respective training facilities. I would also suggest you call all the local media to report on your findings and training so we all can see how you have been the expert on this and kept the secrets to yourself. I'm sure the local LE's would welcome any advice you suggest that would help them from physical harm and potential lawsuits.

I won't hold my breath though, people like you only know how to blame, attack and accuse rather than be a productive citizen. Oh and please, I don't need to hear how I've done something or don't know anything about you. You've already shown your cards......

Priceless (anonymous profile)
August 20, 2013 at 12:36 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Priceless please stop stalking me. Ok? - I'm offline now.

Buh-bye -- please find someone to stalk and harass.

Really Im done

anon111 (anonymous profile)
August 20, 2013 at 1:10 p.m. (Suggest removal)

This was to be the almost guaranteed end result to the life of a very disturbed substance abuser. This guy was big and violent. A BAD combo for sure. 60 arrests in just over 10 yrs! Time bomb and his fuse just ran out. Unless we are able to confine these habitual individuals in some kind of "mental health" environment for their own good as well as ours, then these events will continue and increase.
Nothing in this article leads me to believe that this result is anyones fault but the deceased.

BacktoSanity (anonymous profile)
August 20, 2013 at 1:42 p.m. (Suggest removal)

An aside: fredb93117 and italiansurg, you guys need to install an ad blocker. Sure makes surfing a lot more pleasant.

SezMe (anonymous profile)
August 20, 2013 at 2:04 p.m. (Suggest removal)

the amphetamine could have been adderall prescribed for adhd. excited delirium give me a break!

blue61 (anonymous profile)
August 20, 2013 at 2:40 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Yes anon111 you are a typical hit and run blogger or should I say you really have nothing more to add because you've been called out as a BS opinion thrower with no credibility.

Stalking, Harass? You crack me up! If you don't want others opinions DON'T POST ON PUBLIC BLOGS!!!

You can't even comprehend basic facts or Calif. law! When you put yourself out there in public on blogs and someone calls you out as a BS'er that's not stalking or harassment!

Yes folks people like anon111 vote. No wonder SB is in the toilet and caters to transients. See you on the next article that you will seem to be an expert in...

To bad you can't answer my question of you giving us your expert opinion in mental illnesses and dealing with violent aggressive individuals. But I should have recognized that in the beginning. People like you just blame, point fingers, throw unsubstantiated claims, never take responsibility for there actions and so on. Why is it that you are so hateful of LE Officers?? Oh that's right. You're done, not answering simple questions.

Priceless (anonymous profile)
August 20, 2013 at 6:27 p.m. (Suggest removal)

The report stated he was yelling,“I can’t breathe.”That's troubling, and yes I know if he was yelling he was breathing.

blue61 (anonymous profile)
August 20, 2013 at 10:52 p.m. (Suggest removal)


Since you're anonymous, there should be no harm to your reputation in suggesting that you consult with a psychiatrist. You're watching home movies, that's for sure. I say that not to insult you (whomever you might be), but out of a decent concern for your well-being.

Adonis_Tate (anonymous profile)
August 21, 2013 at 8:25 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Concur with BackToSanity. Dead guy's choice. He succeeded in getting what he deserved and society no longer needs to worry or deal with this idiot.

Draxor (anonymous profile)
August 21, 2013 at 11:23 a.m. (Suggest removal)

There is no acceptable reason this man had to die. He had several problems, yes. What could have happened is to give him a quick-acting tranquilizer injection to calm him, show him to a comfortable hospital bed, then counsel him, give him meds, show him respect and caring. What is all this hate in our society?

patrick58 (anonymous profile)
August 21, 2013 at 11:23 a.m. (Suggest removal)

@ patrick58, Did you even read the circumstances of his arrest, or did you stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night?

Validated (anonymous profile)
August 21, 2013 at 3:29 p.m. (Suggest removal)

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