Robert Saylor, a 26-year-old man with Down Syndrome, died of suffocation while in the custody of three off-duty sheriff’s deputies last month, according to the ruling of the Baltimore County Medical Examiner’s office (video below).
According to WJLA-TV, Saylor liked the movie 'Zero Dark Thirty' and wanted to watch another showing. However, a Regal Cinema employee asked Saylor to leave.
When Saylor refused to leave, the employee summoned theater security, which was three off-duty sheriff’s deputies: Lt. Scott Jewell, Sgt. Rich Rochford and Deputy First Class James Harris.
The three security guards handcuffed Saylor and threw his face on the ground where police say he had a “medical emergency," which was likely a struggle to breathe.
Jennifer Bailey, of the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office, said in a statement: “They made numerous attempts to get him to leave, he was cursing at them, at that point they physically removed him, and he began having the medical emergency.”
Bailey said the off-duty deputies “immediately removed the handcuffs and administered first aid” when they noticed Saylor going into distress.
Saylor was later pronounced dead at Frederick Memorial Hospital in Frederick, Maryland.
The case is now under investigation by the Maryland State Attorney’s Office.
Patti Saylor, Robert’s mother, stated that her son “has never had anyone put their hands on him in his life. He would not have been doing anything threatening to anybody.”