A Down syndrome man’s death while in police custody has his family outraged and seeking answers from police as to what could have happened.
The 26-year-old man, Robert Ethan Saylor, suffered a medical emergency and died while being escorted from a movie theater by security guards. The man was accused of refusing to either leave the theater when his movie had ended or buying another ticket.
The Sheriff’s Office said that Saylor cursed at deputies and resisted arrest, leading police to handcuff him and lead him out. Before leaving the theater, Saylor began having what police termed a “medical emergency,” and then was brought to the hospital. There the man with Down syndrome died, and his death was later ruled a homicide.
The officers involved in the arrest have been placed on administrative leave.
After the death of the man with Down syndrome, his family is demanding answers, The Associated Press noted.
“I think what they most want to see out of the investigation is a clear account of what happened and why it happened,” said Joseph B. Espo, a Baltimore attorney representing the family. He added that police officials met with the family for about an hour on Friday.
His family said that Saylor went to the theater to see Zero Dark Thirty with his health aide, WJLA reported. The family said that the aide had left to get the car when the confrontation with police took place. His mother, Patti Saylor, said before his death the man with Down syndrome had no pre-existing health conditions.
Police are looking into the Down syndrome man’s death, but his family said they would prefer that an outside agency handle the investigation.