A teenager at Baltimore’s Good Samaritan Hospital fell into a coma and eventually died soon after, having been tased by local Baltimore Police during a physical struggle at the hospital last week. While the teenager’s name has not been released, it was stated by the head of Baltimore’s police department that the 19-year-old male was brought to the hospital under “emotional distress,” and was a “ward of state.”
Having been administered an unspecified amount of medication prior to the arrival of Baltimore police officers, it is unclear what led up to the tased altercation between the patient, hospital security staff and the police officers. Specifically, the teenager’s state of mind while under the medication, as well as staff and police reactions during the incident, still remain in question.
The teenager who later fell into the coma and died was originally transported to the hospital after having suffered from extreme emotional distress, as of May 6. He was brought to Good Samaritan Hospital after experiencing problems from the “home” where he had been living. It has not yet been released whether the teenager had been residing at a foster home or if he had been living at a group home.
The Baltimore Sun newspaper was only able to establish that the teenager who died after having been tased by the police was a “ward of state,” and it was also unclear as to why he was listed as a ward of state. However, in Maryland, patients are able to stay under care of the state until they reach 21 years of age.
The following day, at 5:30 p.m. on May 7, Baltimore police officers were promptly contacted by hospital staff. The police were initially given the report that the teenage male had been undergoing an extreme emotional dilemma, and was subsequently very aggressive with staff at the hospital. In turn, this led to his having been tased by Baltimore Police.
According to police spokesman Lieutenant Eric Kowalczyk, two officers who arrived at the hospital came to the scene where they witnessed the teenager fighting all five of the present security guards. At this point, one of the police officers tased the male patient. It remains uncertain whether or not the tasing happened more than one time.
It is also unclear how the initial tasing was performed on the individual by the officer, and for how long it had been done. As stated by Kowalczyk, “The exact method of deployment and the number of times that the taser was used are being investigated right now.”
It was reported by Deputy Commissioner Jerry Rodrigues that the teenager had been “breathing on his own,” after the police officers left Good Samaritan Hospital. It was only made apparent to the Baltimore Police Department several days after the event that the boy had gone into a coma, and was soon pronounced brain dead.
Baltimore police refused to comment on how many times the male patient was tased, and for how long this occurred. After other witnesses and police officers present at the event have been interviewed, the results will be handed over to the State of Maryland Attorney’s Office. While the officers remain presently unidentified, there is an impending internal investigation, focusing on the administrative and criminal aspects of the officers’ actions during the event.
So far, the ongoing case of the teenager, who fell into a coma and later died after having been tased by Baltimore police, is still being reviewed by appropriate state and local officials. While hospital staff and the Baltimore Police Department have failed to further comment on the situation, the incident has since sparked outrage across social media, with many people claiming that cops in America have become “out of control,” wrongfully abusing their authority.
By Scott Gaudinier