They claim negligence, violation of the Americans With Disabilities Act.
The family of a New Market man who died following a struggle with off-duty sheriff's deputies has filed a lawsuit. The parents of Robert Ethan Saylor, 26, claim negligence on the part of sheriff's deputies, and violations of the Americans With Disabilities Act.
Ethan Saylor died in January following a struggle with off-duty sheriff's deputies. Authorities say Saylor refused to leave the Regal Cinemas at the Westview Promenade after the showing of a movie, and cursed at deputies. Management asked that he be removed, or purchase another ticket. Following the struggle, Saylor died. He had Down Syndrome.
"I think there is a belief that the individuals and the businesses that are responsible for Ethan Saylor's death should be held to account for their conduct, and so far they have not been," says Joe Espo, the Saylor family's attorney.
The defendants named in the suit are Frederick County, the Sheriff's Office, the three deputies, Regal Cinemas and Hill Management Services. The deputies involved in the incident, Lt. Scott Jewell, Sgt. Rich Rochford and Deputy 1st Class James Harris, were moonlighting for the shopping center doing security work when the incident occurred. They were put on administrative leave following the incident.
"Mr. Saylor's a 26-year-old man with Down Syndrome who was forcibly removed the Regal Cinemas at a Frederick shopping center by three, off-duty sheriff's deputies who killed him in the process," Espo says.
The State Medical Examiner ruled that the cause of Saylor's death was homicide by asphyxiation. A grand jury examined the case against the three deputies, and decided not to indict them. They have since been put back on duty.
Espo says this is not a frivolous case. "We file it because we think it's meritorious," he said.
Two weeks ago, Governor Martin O'Malley established a commission to examine ways to improve training for police officers, medics and other first responders on dealing with persons with disabilities.
The Saylor family has asked that an independent investigation be conducted into the death of their son.