Disabled man who died in custody had heart problem

BALTIMORE — A man with Down syndrome who died of asphyxia after he was restrained at a movie theater had anger issues and health problems that made him susceptible to sudden death, according to an autopsy report made public Tuesday.

The report by the Maryland medical examiner’s office provides new public details about the death of Robert Ethan Saylor, 26, of New Market. He died Jan. 12 after three Frederick County sheriff’s deputies, moonlighting as mall security guards, tried to remove him from a Frederick movie theater at the management’s request.

The autopsy said the death was ruled a homicide. A Frederick County grand jury declined last week to indict the three deputies involved.


The Associated Press reviewed the autopsy report at the medical examiner’s office in Baltimore. The report said Saylor had a reported medical history of anger issues, especially when confronted or touched.

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Police have said Saylor, who stood 5-foot-6 and weighed 294 pounds, yelled and cursed at the deputies after they confronted him for refusing to leave an auditorium where he had watched the movie ‘‘Zero Dark Thirty.’’ The autopsy report says one deputy then touched Saylor to remove him from the theater. When he resisted, the others joined in.

Associated Press