Police investigate suspicious death

Man reportedly involved in fight before he was found unresponsive

Gilroy police are investigating what they are calling a suspicious death that occurred earlier this month in west Gilroy, but so far no one has been arrested, according to authorities.

Just before midnight June 17, Gilroy police said they responded to a medical call on the 7200 block of Fowler Street. When officers arrived they located Richard Vlastelica, 64, unresponsive inside the residence, according to Sgt. Jason Kadluboski. Vlastelica was on the floor inside, surrounded by people performing CPR and first aid.
Vlastelica was pronounced dead shortly after paramedics arrived.

As police investigated the death, officers learned from neighbors and other evidence that just before the emergency was reported to 911, Vlastelica was involved in an altercation with another man, Kadluboski said. This man reportedly walked outside after the altercation. When he and other witnesses went back inside moments later, they found Vlastelica unresponsive and attempted to revive him.

Officers located and identified the man he had been fighting with, but he has not been arrested. The man exhibited injuries consistent with a fight when police were on the scene, authorities said.

Kadluboski noted that when officers arrived, “There was no active fight when Mr. Vlastelica was found laying in his residence.”

Authorities do not yet know how Vlastelica died. Kadluboski said the Santa Clara County Coroner’s Office is working on determining the cause of death, and any decision to charge someone with a crime will depend largely on the coroner’s report.

“It’s still under investigation whether (the death) is a medical issue or the result of the altercation,” Kadluboski said.

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