The phrase, “Down syndrome death,” has become a trending search term today after the Washington Post reported this Tuesday, Feb. 19, that a man with Down syndrome, 26, died while being escorted by security guards from a local movie theater. The lawyer for the family says the grief-stricken family wants justice for their son, and to know what happened after the son’s death was ruled a homicide by asphyxiation.
Robert Saylor died this Jan. 12, 2013, after several guards went to remove him from a movie theater in Maryland where the young man had finished seeing a movie and did not want to leave. The Sherriff’s Office alleged that Saylor resisted arrest, and was placed into handcuffs before being led out of the theater. Yet Saylor suffered a “sudden medical emergency,” the report went on, and though authorities took the handcuffs and rushed Saylor to a hospital, the young man died shortly after arrival.
Officials reported on Friday that the Medical Examiner’s Office ruled that Robert Saylor had died from asphyxia, and his death was thus ruled to be a homicide. This sad case quickly began trending online via the search phrase, “Down syndrome death,” making it clear that the public too has taken a personal interest in the circumstances surrounding the young man’s death as well.
The attorney representing Saylor’s family announced Tuesday that the family is “in shock beyond their imagination” over Robert's death, and want justice to find answers of “what happened [to Robert] and why it happened.”