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Citrus Heights PD announce arrest after violent attempted robbery at restaurant

A still frame from surveillance video released by police that appears to show an erratic shirtless man attempting to rob a restaurant in Citrus Heights.

On Wednesday evening, Citrus Heights police released surveillance video and announced the arrest of a shirtless man who allegedly “jumped the counter of a fast food restaurant and went after employees.”

Police said suspect James Bradford Nelson III sustained injuries to his chest during a “prolonged struggle on hot asphalt” after he resisted arrest and was “taken to the ground in the parking lot where he continued to resist.” The incident occurred around 4 p.m. on June 23 at an unidentified fast food restaurant on the 7000 block of Auburn Boulevard, which covers a section of street in front of Costco over to Sylvan Corners.

According to the news release, Nelson was released from custody due to being admitted to the hospital. He does not currently appear in Sacramento County Jail’s inmate records, but police said charges are pending for attempted robbery, resisting a public officer, being under the influence of drugs, and violation of parole.

Police said Nelson had prior run-ins with officers earlier the same day, one of which involved him being at fault in a vehicle collision and another incident involving him allegedly “walking in front of moving vehicles in the roadway.” A caller had also told police that Nelson was “attempting to open vehicle doors and was seen lying on the sidewalk, talking to himself.”

The news release said Nelson had also assaulted the manager of the restaurant and attempted to forcefully steal his wallet, which appears to be shown in surveillance video released by police. The video shows a man, apparently Nelson, take a swing at another man inside the restaurant and also hop the counter. Video was also released appearing to show Nelson walking erratically in lanes of traffic at Sylvan Corners.

Sgt. Jason Baldwin confirmed Nelson was still in the hospital as of Wednesday evening.

Update: A news report on CBS 13 said Nelson’s family questions the actions of police and reported Nelson was “barely coming out of a coma with second-to-third-degree burns on 40 percent of his body,” as of Thursday. The family also said Nelson has a mental disability.

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