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Down Syndrome Man Who Died in Police Custody Had ‘Anger Issues’

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(credit: Thinkstock)

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FREDERICK, Md. — An autopsy report on a man with Down syndrome who died in police custody says he had “anger issues.”

The report says 26-year-old Robert Ethan Saylor of New Market also had a heart condition that made him susceptible to sudden cardiac death. The Associated Press reviewed the document Tuesday at the state medical examiner’s office in Baltimore.

It says Saylor died of asphyxia. His injuries were consistent with having been in a position in which he couldn’t breathe.

The report calls the death a homicide. A Frederick County grand jury declined last week to indict the three Frederick County sheriff’s deputies who restrained Saylor while trying to remove him from a movie theater at the management’s request.

The sheriff’s office says Saylor yelled and cursed at the deputies.

Advocates for people with Down syndrome say the case has caught the attention of the U.S. Justice Department.

The president of a Frederick County support group says he’s meeting Tuesday at department headquarters in Washington with representatives of the agency, national Down syndrome organizations, Johns Hopkins University and the Kennedy Krieger Institute.

Denny Weikert says they’ll brainstorm ideas for training police to deal with people with the genetic disorder.

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(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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