MIDDLE RIVER, Md. (WJZ/AP) — Tawon Boyd, 21, the Essex man hospitalized since Sunday after he violently confronted police and emergency medical providers, died Wednesday at a local hospital, according to Baltimore County Police.
Police say Boyd was violent with them, but the family claims excessive force was used by officers.
Police say the “confused” Middle River man who tried to get inside several police cars was hospitalized following a fight with officers.
Early Sunday morning, police respond to Akin Circle and find Boyd and his fiance screaming at each other. The woman tells officers Boyd was acting crazy and was under the influence of drugs and alcohol. She said Boyd was on marijuana and alcohol.
Police say Boyd appeared “confused and paranoid.” They say he ran to several police cars, trying to get inside, and also banged on neighbors’ doors.
Police say they tried taking the man in for an emergency evaluation, but he refused to obey orders and began fighting officers, injuring three of them.
According to the police report, Boyd wouldn’t comply with police and “refused to get on the ground or place his hands behind his back,” and that he “grabbed the back of one officer’s neck ” and “continued to push, kick and flail.”
“The young man in the case is not behaving the way a person would normally behave,” said Elise Armacost Baltimore County Police spokesperson. “There were punches thrown by him and also by the officers, that’s what a physical struggle is. It’s a violent struggle, hes ripping off their badges and ripping off the cords to their radios, and we’re talking about a physical struggle involving hands.”
After medics arrive the report says “Boyd tried to break free from his restraints while four officers held him down.”
After receiving some sort of treatment, the report says “Boyd became so calm they asked a medic to check the suspect for a pulse” but “could clearly see he was still breathing.”
Boyd’s family and fiance who was by his side that night, tell a different story.
“He on the ground, 5 other officers on top of him, and not only that, one police officer got his arm around his neck like this, punching him, punching, him and throughout the whole thing he’s like I can’t breathe, I can’t breathe,” said Deona Styron, Boyd’s fiance.
Something she says is stuck in her mind forever.
“He said he couldn’t breathe, and not only that, after the ambulance got there, he was still on the ground for 20 minutes, and when they lifted him up to put him on the stretcher he was unconscious, dangling,” said Styron.
A death that has now sparked several investigations.
“No one has determined what his cause of death is, the medical examiner has to determine that,” said Armacost.
Both Baltimore County Police and fire are conducting administrative reviews. Police say none of the officers involved were wearing body cameras, a program that’s still being rolled out for the department.
Police say the officers involved suffered non-life threatening injuries during the struggle and have not been placed on administrative leave.
(Copyright 2016 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)