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Harford County Detention Center inmate from Pasadena dies after going into 'cardiac arrest,' police say

This story is updated from an earlier version.

A 28-year-old Anne Arundel County man being detained at the Harford County Detention Center in Bel Air died at a hospital Monday afternoon after going into cardiac arrest, according to the Harford County Sheriff’s Office.

Michael Belt, of the 100 block of Hickory Point Road in Pasadena, died at University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Medical Center in Bel Air shortly after 5 p.m., according to a Sheriff’s Office news release.

Medical staff at the detention center, which is run by the Sheriff’s Office, conducted a health and welfare check at 3:30 p.m. Monday, and Belt was found to have poor vital signs, Cristie Kahler, director of media relations for the Sheriff’s Office, wrote in an email Tuesday.

Staff from Correctional Care Services, the company contracted to provide medical service at the detention center, determined Belt needed care beyond what they were able to provide and that he needed to go to a hospital, Kahler said.

Belt was uncooperative, but conscious during this process, Kahler said.

While being transported to Upper Chesapeake, Belt went into cardiac arrest, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

Belt was booked at the detention center July 25 on charges of driving while impaired, according to online court records.

According to a statement of probable cause, Belt was in a 2012 Toyota Camry stopped on the shoulder of northbound South Mountain Road, blocking the entrance of a Wawa convenience store at 3:13 p.m. on July 25.

“Belt’s posture was very rigid, his eyes were bloodshot and watery, his pupils were constricted and he was sweating profusely,” according to the statement of probable cause filed by the arresting Maryland State Police trooper.

Belt’s speech was slow and it took about 15 seconds for him to answer routine questions like his name and address, according to the statement of probable cause. The trooper wrote that he had to repeat questions “multiple times” to get a response.

The trooper asked that Belt complete a field sobriety test, which were not performed “satisfactorily,” according to court records, which led the trooper to determine “Belt was operating a motor vehicle while impaired.”

Belt received three citations, according to court records, for driving or attempting to drive while so far impaired by drugs or drugs and alcohol he couldn’t drive safely; driving or attempting to drive a vehicle while impaired by a controlled dangerous substance; and standing, parking a vehicle in front of a private driveway without the owner’s permission.

He was brought to the detention center at 4:45 p.m. on July 25, but refused to cooperate and exhibited signs of impairment, Kahler said.

“HCDC protocol is the individual must be cooperative before the commissioner hearing and during the initial preliminary processing (fingerprint, photograph, etc),” Kahler said.

He was booked at the detention center at 1:34 p.m. July 26, but refused a commissioner hearing and was subsequently held without bail on a temporary commitment, according to Kahler.

Court records indicate that Belt was incompetent. He was ordered to appear for a District Court bail review hearing at 1:30 p.m. July 27, according to court records.

The Sheriff’s Office said in its news release that while at the detention center, Belt had been monitored by medical staff because of “pre-existing conditions.”

Because Belt was going through detox, protocols provided by Correctional Care Services were followed, including 24-hour supervision, according to Kahler.

“This determination was made as Belt exhibited signs of withdrawal during the intake process and would not cooperate with medical staff when questioned about his substance abuse/medical history,” Kahler said. rote.

During his bail review Monday, presided over by District Court Judge David Carey, Belt was ordered to continue being held without bail pending a competency hearing, according to court records, in which Carey wrote that Belt “refuses to get dressed or come to bail hearing.”

Officials said that according to policy, an investigation into Belt’s death was assumed by detectives with the Harford County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigations Division.

Preliminary investigation does not indicate any signs of trauma or foul play, Kahler said.

The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner was notified, and responded to the hospital.

The Sheriff’s Office is awaiting findings and determination from the medical examiner on the cause and manner of death, Kahler said.

Bruce Goldfarb, a spokesperson for the Medical Examiner’s Office, said Tuesday that he could not discuss cases that are under investigation.

“We investigate every unexplained death in the state of Maryland,” Goldfarb said.

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