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Coroner identifies man who died in 'violent altercation' with Aurora officers Monday night

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Posted at 4:52 PM, Dec 19, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-19 18:52:06-05

AURORA, Colo. – The Arapahoe County Coroner’s Office on Wednesday identified the man who died in a fight with Aurora police officers Monday night as 32-year-old David A. Baker.

Aurora Police Chief Nick Metz described the incident involving his officers and Baker, who was involved in a family disturbance before he was confronted by officers, as “one of the most violent confrontations that I have seen in my career” when he spoke at a Tuesday news conference.

Baker died in the incident and two officers were hospitalized after the incident that happened shortly after 6 p.m. Monday at an apartment in the 10600 block of E. Jewell Ave.

Metz said three officers responded to the apartment on a family disturbance call and that body camera footage, which Metz has not released, showed Baker choking another man.

Metz said officers tried multiple times to get him to stop but he fought with officers as well. Metz said less-lethal options to subdue the 5-foot-9, 200-plus-pound Baker were ineffective and that Baker at one point choked on officer and tried to take their baton and Taser.

Metz said that sometime during Baker’s struggle with officers that he became “unresponsive” and that life-saving efforts were also not effective. Baker was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital.

Metz said the officers’ injuries were not life-threatening and said those involved in the incident have been placed on standard paid administrative leave while the Aurora Police Department’s Major Crimes Unit, the Denver Police Department Homicide Unit and the district attorney’s office investigate.

A Colorado Bureau of Investigation background check shows Baker was arrested on burglary and robbery charges in September 2014, but the charges were later dismissed.