Essex man dead after incident with police
Questions still remain over the death of a 21-year-old Middle River man
following a confrontation with Baltimore County police after he placed a 911 call.
Tawon Boyd, of Essex, called police twice on Sunday, September 18 from his home on the unit block of Akin Circle in Middle River. According to a police incident report of the event, the call “consists mostly of screaming from Boyd and the girlfriend and is difficult to understand.”
The police arrived at the home shortly afterward to investigate the presumed domestic disturbance when they encountered Boyd who was allegedly intoxicated and aggressive. Boyd’s girlfriend reportedly claimed he was under the influence of drugs and alcohol and was acting “crazy”. At the scene, Boyd was also claiming that somebody in his house had drugged him and was secretly recording him.
“The man appeared confused and paranoid, sweating heavily, and when police attempted to talk to the man and calm him he ran to multiple marked police cars and tried to get inside. He also began banging on neighbors’ doors,” states the police report.
When police tried to subdue Boyd and take him in for an emergency evaluation, they said that’s when Boyd became violent.
“The young man in the case is not behaving the way a person would normally behave,” said Elise Armacost, the spokesperson for Baltimore County Police. “There were punches thrown by him and also by the officers, that’s what a physical struggle
is. It’s a violent struggle, he’s ripping off their badges and ripping off the cords to their radios, and we’re talking about a physical struggle involving hands.”
Boyd grabbed on to the officers and was flailing his arms and legs. Boyd apparently was clinging on to an officer who then punched him in the face multiple times.
The report alleges that officers were able to get Boyd under control by using their body weight to keep him on the ground. One officer held down his arms while another leaned on his backside/thigh area while another kneeled on his legs. A set of plastic flexicuffs were placed around Boyd’s legs to prevent him from kicking. The struggle apparently lasted five minutes.
Three officers sustained nonlife-threatening injuries while trying to contain Boyd. The nature of these injuries was redacted from the police report.
The report says that Boyd was struggling with his restraints and attempting the break free while he was being held down. He was given a substance, which was redacted from the incident report, to calm him. He was then taken to Franklin Square Hospital to receive medical care.
Boyd was pronounced dead on Wednesday, September 21, three days after the confrontation with police. The cause of death is still unknown.
The Baltimore County Police released this timeline of the event:
• Police are dispatched at
3:09 for a disturbance.
• Police unit arrives at 3:18
• Police call for EMS at 3:28
• Emergency Medical Ser- vices (EMS) arrives at 3:33 a.m.
• EMS leaves the scene with
the patient at 3:58 a.m.
• EMS arrives at the hospital
at 4:10 a.m. The Baltimore County Police Department said that none of the officers at the scene were wearing body cameras that could have recorded the altercation.
Boyd’s family have since publicly disputed the police’s story and have hired an attorney.
Investigation of the incident is still pending, an autopsy is expected within the next week but could take up to a month to complete.
“Administrative reviews by the police and fire departments will be conducted. The Homicide Unit, which investigates all fatal police-involved incidents, has begun its investigation. The cause of death has not been established and will be determined by the Medical Examiner,” states the police report.