Sedation may have played a factor in the death of a 19-year-old hospital patient who was stunned by police during an altercation, a city council member said Friday.
The teen died Thursday after falling into a coma after a May 7 altercation with Good Samaritan Hospital security guards and police, in which a city officer used a Taser. Police are investigating the man's death to determine whether police action was responsible.
City Councilman Robert Curran, who represents the district where the teen died, said drugs the patient was given may have played a role in his death.
"My understanding is that he was sedated," Curran said. "I don't think the officers were aware of that situation. … It's an unfortunate situation."
Police have not released the name of the teenager, whom they described only as a "ward of the state." They did not give a reason why his name was being withheld.
Hospital spokeswoman Debra Schindler said MedStar Health or Good Samaritan is prohibited by health privacy laws from releasing any information about the teen.
"There are sometimes circumstances that threaten the safety of our staff, which necessitate police intervention," she said in a statement. "Sadly, this is such a case and it is a police matter. The hospital will cooperate fully with the police investigation as it proceeds."
Police on Friday released the names of the officers who responded to the hospital: Thomas Hodas, a one-year veteran, and James Wynne, a six-year veteran. They did not say which officer deployed the Taser.
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