Jesse Freitas : Former SD Chargers QB From Petaluma Found Dead In Car

Jesse Freitas : Former SD Chargers QB From Petaluma Found Dead In Car

Jesse Freitas, who fell on hard times after two seasons in the NFL and a stellar college football career at San Diego State, has died. He was 63.

Freitas suffered mental health issues and in later years was in and out of the Sonoma County Jail.

Jesse Freitas was found lying fully clothed in the back seat of a Toyota Camry, “as if he had been laying down to take a nap or rest,” according to the police report. There were no obvious signs of trauma or foul play. Police interviews suggest he had been in the 2100 block of Willow Drive to meet with a real estate agent about a house for sale in the neighborhood. He was pronounced dead at the scene at 4:55 p.m.

A star quarterback for the San Diego State in 1972, he was drafted by the Chargers in 1974 and played two seasons as back-up to starting quarterback Dan Fouts. He left the NFL in 1976. He later married three times and had four children.

Freitas had been arrested several times in the past few years by local police for crimes including theft, trespassing and arson. Last spring was committed to Atascadero State Hospital for bipolar disorder, on the recommendation of county health officials. He was released last December, and returned to Petaluma in January.

An autopsy conducted on Tuesday, Feb. 10, was inconclusive; toxicology results can take several months to complete.