LBPD Investigating Brutal Beating/Robbery of Jay McManus (Palo Verde/Stearns Area) As "Undetermined Death"
|(Aug. 25, 2021, 9:20 a.m.) -- On August 24, LBPD issued a release stating it's investigating as an "undetermined death" the circumstances that led to the death of James ("Jay") McManus, age 61, as he walked from Avenue Three Pizza (east side of Palo Verde Ave. just north of Stearns.St.) to Carfax Ave. (intersects with Stearns a few blocks west of Palo Verde.)
For over a week, family and friends have said on social networks that Mr. McManus was brutally assaulted,.robbed of his possessions, stripped of some of his clothes and basically left to die near Carfax Ave. until a bystander found him and phoned police. After roughly a week in an ICU, Mr. McManus died on Aug. 22.
The LBPD release acknowledged that officers were dispatched to assist LBFD with a person down in the Stearns St. service road with a critical injury and based on information then-available, officers initially believed a potential medical emergency had occurred. However once the potential battery was reported to police, detectives began investigating.
Public social media comments swiftly derided LBPD's description of its investigation as an "undetermined death" (One example on LBPD's Facebook page: "Undetermined death? He was beaten to death!! I'm pretty sure someone doesn't beat themselves in the head and steal their own belongings. Come on, LBPD! Get it together!")
LBPD's Aug 24 release added some but not many facts to its previously acknowledged narrative. It said Mr. McManus was last seen walking alone from Avenue 3 Pizza at about 10:00 p.m. Aug. 14 and at some point between 10:00 p.m. and 4:46 a.m. Aug 25 sustained a critical injury but "it's [currently] unknown how he sustained the injury." LBPD's release said his property has all been "located" [but didn't say where] with the exception of a watch.
Public anger spilled over into the Aug. 24 City Council meeting, when two residents of CD 5 (Mungo) criticized conditions in ELB, saying she sees drug addicts on the street and has found needles in El Dorado Park. Another blasted Mungo along with Councilman Daryl Supernaw (CD4 where the fatal events occurred.) After saying LBPD didn't initially take a report because LBFD said they weren't needed (the victim was unconscious and couldn't give a response), the Council podium speaker (didn't self-identify) said "You guys did not answer emails...Supernaw, that's your district. You said you cleaned it up. If you cleaned it up, that shouldn't have happened...Stacy: I live in your district...but I am disgusted. I have been sending you emails for the last year about one house. You don't respond. I have the copies. I have the calls to your office... Clean up the city. We're sick of it...We pay the tax dollars. You sit there and collect the paychecks. Do your damn jobs."
LBPD's release said its Homicide Detail and Detectives "are actively investigating all leads and are in regular communication with the manís family." LBPD said it's asking "anyone who lives in the area to review their camera footage from between Aug. 14, 2021 at 10:00 p.m. and Aug. 15, 2021 at 4:46 a.m. for any photo/video that may have captured what occurred that night."
The above LBPD released photo shows Mr. McManus that night. He was last seen wearing a white t-shirt, blue jeans, and dark shoes. LBPD asks anyone with information regarding the incident to contact Homicide Detectives Ethan Shear or Jose Rodriguez at (562) 570-7244.
LBPD's Aug. 24 release is reproduced in full below:order="1" cellpadding="5" bgcolor="white">
The Long Beach Police Department is investigating an undetermined death related to an incident that occurred between 10:00 p.m. on Aug. 14, 2021 and 4:46 a.m. on Aug. 15, 2021 in the area of Stearns Street and Carfax Avenue.On Aug. 15, 2021 at approximately 7:13 p.m., a potential battery incident was reported to the Long Beach Police Department. Officers contacted a woman who stated her husband may have been assaulted early that morning and was at a local hospital.
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