Medical examiners are still trying to determine why a 26-year-old New Market man died while in the custody of off-duty Frederick County sheriff's deputies after being forced from a movie theater.
The Frederick County Bureau of Investigation and the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner are investigating the death of Robert Ethan Saylor, who suffered a medical emergency after being removed from the Regal Cinemas Westview Stadium 16 in Frederick, according to the Frederick County Sheriff's Office.
The sheriff's office identified the deputies Wednesday as Sgt. Rich Rochford, a 16-year sheriff's office veteran, and Deputy First Class James Harris, a 10-year veteran. Both were off duty and working for Hill Management at the Westview Promenade. Theater employees called the deputies before 11 p.m. Saturday after employees said Saylor refused to leave after seeing a movie.
The deputies spoke with Saylor, who had Down syndrome, in an attempt to get him to leave the theater or buy another ticket, according to a sheriff's office news release. Saylor refused to leave and cursed at the deputies, who removed him from the theater, briefly handcuffing him in the process.
Before Saylor and the deputies reached the exit, he began to have a medical emergency, the release states. The deputies took the handcuffs off and called for medical help. Saylor was taken to Frederick Memorial Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Saylor, who went by the name Ethan, attended Spring Ridge Elementary School and Gov. Thomas Johnson Middle before graduating from The Benedictine School in Ridgely. He briefly worked for Goodwill Industries, and he was a member of Damascus Road Community Church in Mount Airy, where he sang in the men's choir.
Medical examiners performed an autopsy on Saylor's body, which was attended by FCBI investigators, but have yet to determine a cause of death, said Bruce Goldfarb, spokesman for the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner. Goldfarb said it could be at least a few more days before investigators have a cause of death.
"They're probably going to do a toxicology report, the whole nine yards," Goldfarb said.
The sheriff's office declined to comment on the investigation of the death, saying only that it is open and ongoing. The deputies have not been placed on administrative leave.
Cpl. Jennifer Bailey, sheriff's office spokeswoman, said 17 deputies worked for Hill Management in 2012. Representatives of Hill Management could not be reached for comment Wednesday afternoon.
Bailey said deputies are required to attend 18 hours of in-service training each year. In 2011, they attended a four-hour block of training called Mental Health 101, which did not focus on Down syndrome specifically but highlighted the differences between the developmentally disabled and those suffering from mental illness.
This year deputies will attend a 90-minute training session dealing with autism, Bailey said.