Robert Saylor dies after being handcuffed at Frederick movie theater

FREDERICK, Md. (AP/ABC7) - State and Frederick County officials are investigating the death of an intellectually disabled man who had a medical emergency when he was handcuffed by deputies at a movie theater in Frederick.

The Frederick County Sheriff's Office says deputies were called after 26-year-old Robert Saylor of New Market refused to leave the theater on Saturday.

Saylor's mother, Patti Saylor, said her son was with a health aide when he left their home last Saturday night to see the movie "Zero Dark Thirty."

When the movie ended he wanted to see it again and refused to leave. Three sheriff's deputies, working a detail at the theater, were called in to handle the situation.

Authorities say he was handcuffed and was resisting the deputies' attempts to remove him when he had a medical emergency. The office says the deputies removed the handcuffs and took him to a hospital, where he died.

Cpl. Jennifer Bailey, a sheriff's office spokeswoman, tells The Frederick News-Post that Saylor had Down syndrome. She says the office delayed releasing information about his death at his family's request. An autopsy is being conducted.

Patti is fighting to understand how a brush with the law ended in her son's death.

"He just loved unconditionally every body," Saylor said.

Patti said her son had no pre-existing medical conditions, and she can't understand how he died after being taken into police custody.

"He has never had anyone put their hands on him in his life. He would not have been doing anything threatening to anybody," she added.

With a heavy heart, his mother waits for the medical examiner's report.

close video ad
Unmutetoggle ad audio on off