Subscribe Now

travelers today

Home » Trending News

Down Syndrome Death: Death of Maryland Man Handcuffed Upon Refusing to Leave Movie Theater Ruled Homicide

Travelers Today       By    Amanda Woods

Updated: Feb 20, 2013 12:10 AM EST

Text Size: A A A

Handcuffs
Robert Ethan Saylor, a Maryland man with Down Syndrome, died shortly after he was handcuffed for refusing to leave a movie theater.(Photo : Wikimedia Commons)

When Robert Ethan Saylor, a 26-year-old man with Down Syndrome went to see "Zero Dark Thirty" with a health aide, his family never expected that he wouldn't return home.

Saylor, of New Market, Md., alone in a Regal Cinemas Westview Stadium 16 theater in Frederick when his aide went to move her car, refused to leave the theater or buy another ticket after having already finished his movie, The Frederick News Post reported. At this, an employee called the police, The Associated Press reported.

Share This Story

The Sheriff's Office told Fox News that Saylor cursed and resisted arrest -- so he was handcuffed and led out. Before leaving the theater, Saylor began having what the Sheriff's Office told Fox News was a "medical emergency." At that point, the handcuffs were removed, and Saylor was taken to the hospital, where he died, Fox News reported.

The state medical examiner determined that Saylor died of asphyxia, the Associated Press reported. Cpl. Jennifer Bailey, the sheriff's office spokeswoman, told The Frederick News Post that the circumstances of his death are still under investigation.

Joseph B. Espo, a Baltimore attorney representing the family, told Fox News that sheriff's officials met with Saylor's family for about an hour Friday. He called Saylor's death "beyond [the family's] imagination."

"I think what they most want to see out of the investigation is a clear account of what happened and why it happened," Espo said.

The deputies who were with Saylor at the time of his death, identified as Lt. Scott Jewell, Sgt. Rich Rochford and Deputy First Class James Harris, continue to work their normal assignments during the investigation. The deputies were working secondary employment with Hill Management at the Westview Promenade, The Frederick News Post reported.

Bailey told The Frederick News Post that the deputies are still working their current duties because of uncertainty around Saylor's death. This case is different from an officer-involved shooting, for example, where the connection between the officers' actions and the resulting death is clear, she added to the paper.

Cpl. Gregg Warner, the sheriff's office's lead investigator in the case, told the newspaper that he awaits the final report from the medical examiner for additional information specifying how Saylor died. So far the agency has found out only the cause and manner of death.

"We want to make sure we have that before any more statements could be made," Warner told The Frederick News Post. "We have formally requested it, but there is a process they have to go through."
Bailey said investigators were not willing to release information about the investigation, including whether Saylor's caretaker or anyone else in the theater witnessed his death.

Once the investigation comes to a close, the results will be forwarded to the state's attorney's office for review, Bailey told the paper.

Frederick County State's Attorney Charlie Smith said his office will review the investigation report and determine whether it requires more evidence from the sheriff's office. After that, Smith said his office could bring the case before a grand jury or decide to either progress in issuing charges or issue a letter of declination.

"If there is sufficient evidence there, we will make that decision and notify the sheriff's office," Smith told the paper.

Smith added that he will not review any part of the case until the investigation is completed.

"It's not going to do us any good to review a partial file," Smith said. "We have an obligation to the victim, as well as to the police officers, to make sure our investigation is thorough and complete."

Dr. George Kirkham, a criminologist and former law enforcement officer, at the College of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Florida State University said Saylor's could have suffered positional asphyxia, which he said is often combined with something called sudden in-custody death syndrome. It's most common among people who are on drugs or suffer mental instability -- and Kirkham said Saylor's Down Syndrome could have contributed to its onset.

"It's a well-known phenomenon, and these people need to be trained about it," he said to The Frederick News Post. Bailey told the paper that these issues are addressed during use-of-force training.

© 2014 Traverlers Today, All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.
Featured Video : Greenwich
Join Our Conversation
Don't Miss..
JEFFREYSDAVIS_ANIM
News Princess Cruise Ship

Cruise Ship Illnesses: More than 80 People Become Sick with Norovirus on Crown Princess

Cruise ship-illnesses are all too common and it appears that passengers on yet another cruise ship have become sick with the highly contagious norovirus. This time it's on the Crown Princess which was sailing around ports in California.

News Victim of Detroit mob attack 54-year-old Steven Utash

Detroit Mob Attack: Going To Detroit May Be Dangerous If You’re Not African American

Detroit mob attack on Steven Utash may have happened because of race issues, says prosecutor. Last week, Wednesday April 2, an angry mob beat Steven Utash in Detroit Michigan till he was near death. Now, authorities are saying that race is a factor to the Detroit mob attack.

News Airbus A350 XWB Big Reveal

Airbus A350 XWB Big Reveal [PHOTOS] New A350 XWB Plane

Airbus A350 XWB big reveal features the new A350 plane with passenger cabins that will make travellers want to fly frequently. The European company unveiled today how passengers might travel on its new Airbus A350 XWB plane.

News Delta Airlines

Delta Flight Rolls into the Grass at JFK Airport after Emergency Landing due to Hydraulic System Failure

A Delta Air Lines flight rolled off the runway at JFK after it made an emergency landing on Wednesday.

Trending News Tested.com; Austin; April 2, 2014.

Bitcoin: Where Can You Use It?

Bitcoin is a much-talked about topic nowadays as the currency completely changes the world's currencies and money-making industries. When it comes to Bitcoin legality, the world's countries are not entirely equal in opinion. But in most countries, Bitcoin is neither illegal nor unregulated -- it, the currency, is placed in between.

Travel Tips John W. Schulze

Travel Airfare: Top 5 Tips On Searching The Best Airfare For Your Vacation

Travel airfare, despite hundreds of promos available, isn’t all they’re cracked up to be. On the one hand, some routes are still higher than they were in previous years, and some even keep getting higher. What’s different now is that more people can afford travel airfare and more and more are realizing the benefits of traveling in their lives.

Travel Tips 20 Secrets You Don’t Know About Flying Confessed by Pilots and Flight Attendants

Travel Tips: 20 Secrets You Don’t Know About Flying Confessed by Pilots and Flight Attendants

Travel tips actually confessed by employees of airlines can be hard to come by these days. Below are some of the secrets of pilots, flight attendants, and engineers when it comes to flying.

Leisure Ceramic Sushi now with Grain; Kenneth Ristau; January 8, 2011.

EatHow: Food Etiquette in Japan – Sushi

To many, eating sliced fish may not seem like a big deal, but it really is.

News dubai airshow

Dubai Airshow: Huge Aircraft Orders Break Records in First Day of Deals

The Dubai Airshow had a record-breaking first day on Sunday. As major Gulf carriers work to expand their fleet some of the biggest aviation deals in history were made at Sunday's event.

ADVERTISEMENT

Travel Tips

Recent bear attack in Florida

Recent Bear Attack In Florida: This Woman’s Experience Of Bear Attack Shows Why You Should Read Up On Animals You Might Encounter On Your Next Travel Destination.

Recent bear attack in Florida on a woman proves that just because you’re travelling, everything will go according to plan and the universe will magically make your stay in a certain destination worthwhile. Accidents can still happen, and animal attacks, though unlikely, is still possible. It’s best to arm yourself with knowledge and read up on basic facts about your next destination’s fauna to prevent any mishaps like the recent bear attack in Florida.

Subscribe to our newsletter

Receive the latest travel news, reviews, and more..

Want more Travel?

Most Popular

MISSING JET FROM MALAYSIA'S SEARCH OPERATION CONTINUES AFTER A SIGNAL WAS DETECTED IN INDIAN OCEAN ON SATURDAY

Missing Jet from Malaysia: Flight Mh370’s Search Continues after Chinese Patrol Ship Detected Pulse Signal from a Black Box Along Indian Ocean

Missing jet from Malaysia, Flight MH370, is still being searched for while newest update reveals a ping detected from the possible missing plane.

Con Dao, Vietnam; Malaysian and Chinese journalists look for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, during a mission on a Vietnam Air Force AN-26 aircraft, off Con Dao island March 13, 2014.

Tomnod Nina Rescue: Crowdsourcing Used To Help Malaysia Airlines Jet Search, Crowdsourcing Volunteers Now Increasing

Tomnod Nina Rescue: Website Tomnod.com is now being used in order to help the search for Malaysia Airline’s missing plane. Tomnod Nina Rescue uses crowdsourcing to help find the jet. The crowdsourcing method uses the public’s efforts in order to help the experts search for the missing Malaysia Airlines jet and solve the mystery of Flight 370 disappearing over the South China Sea.

 MjaMes1408

Italy Tourist Spots for Summer [PHOTOS] Secret Italian Summer Getaways You’ve Never Heard of But are Totally Awesome

Italy tourist spots for summer: 6 surprisingly secret Italian summer getaways you’ve never heard of but are totally awesome.

cat

'Girls' Star Lena Dunham Detained by the TSA at LAX Over a Keychain

Lena Dunham, the creator and star of "Girls" was detained by the TSA at LAX because of a "dangerous" keychain that was considered to be a weapon.

Campers cool off in the heat of the desert during the 2nd day of the Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival in Indio, California April 16, 2011. REUTERS/Mike Blake

The Coolest Music Festivals of 2014

Jimi Hendrix at Woodstock may be a distant memory, but you can still look forward to a hazy summer lying in the grass listening to your favourite bands. Unfortunately, we can't go back to hear Jimi at Woodstock (time machines are way overdue, right?), but with increasingly cheaper airfares, music festivals around the world are right outside our doorstep. A dream summer for me would be touring them all!

Youths fight with pillows during a flash mob in a park in central Kiev July 31, 2013. Some 100 people participated in a social media flash mob called "Pillow Fight". REUTERS/Gleb Garanich

Staycation Summer - How to have Holiday Fun for a Very Small Sum

If you're finding the economy's let you down substantially this year, and you can't afford to go on vacation, take heart that you're not the only one. In my 'Staycation' articles, I'll be helping you find cheap and free ways to have fun this summer.

Galicia, Spain

Top 3 Backpacking Destinations to Escape to in 2014

Nothing’s better than welcoming 2014 in a foreign place. A traveler is welcomed with incomparable diversity, fresh faces and possible even a new beginning to start the New Year right.

Terracotta army

Palace Ruins Found Inside Emperor's Tomb in China

Archaelogist found ruins of a massive palace were found near the tomb of China's first emperor, Qin Shi Huang in the city of Xi'an.

Find Us on Facebook

travelers today

© Copyright 2014 Travelers Today All Rights Reserved.

Subscribe to our newsletter