MIDDLE RIVER, Md. (AP) — Baltimore County officials say a man who fought with police officers over the weekend has died at a hospital.
Tawon Boyd, 21, was injured in the Sunday confrontation outside his home in Middle River and taken to the hospital, where he died Wednesday.
Police officials said in a news release that an autopsy will determine a cause of death. A lawyer for Boyd’s family told The Baltimore Sun that his kidneys and heart failed.
Attorney Latoya Francis-Williams and Boyd’s grandmother, Linda Burch, told the Sun that police used too much force to restrain him. Burch lives with her grandson’s family and witnessed the encounter.
“Mr. Boyd was in need of medical attention and the police responded with violence,” Francis-Williams said.
The police and fire departments will conduct an administrative review. The police department’s homicide unit, which reviews deaths involving police, has begun its investigation.
Police say officers went to the scene Sunday after receiving 911 calls at 3:09 a.m. reporting a disturbance and found a man and a woman screaming at each other. Police say the woman, who was Boyd’s girlfriend, had called 911, and said he had been acting “crazy” and was on drugs and alcohol. Police say Boyd appeared “confused and paranoid, sweating heavily.”
Police say he tried to get in several marked police cars and banged on the doors of neighbors’ homes. According to a copy of a police report obtained by WBAL-TV, Boyd yelled, “Help. Call the police.” Police say they tried to talk to him and decided to take him to a hospital for an emergency evaluation. They said he wouldn’t obey orders to get on the ground and put his hands behind his back, and began fighting officers, injuring three of them.
“He was just hollering and screaming on the ground, and they just kept pushing him down, pushing him down, on his shoulder and back and stuff, hitting him,” Burch said to the Sun. “He was trying to get them off of him.”
One officer wrote in a police report obtained by the Sun that he punched Boyd twice because Boyd was hanging onto him. The officers said they restrained Boyd by holding him down with their arms and body weight. The police statement said Boyd “violently confronted police and emergency medical providers.”
Medics were called during the struggle, police said. They arrived about 3:30 a.m. and administered something calm to Boyd, but the treatment was blacked out in the police report, the Sun reported. Police officials said medical privacy laws prevent them from releasing what it was.
Police said Boyd became calm, and an officer asked a medic to check his pulse. Boyd was breathing and had a heartbeat as he was put in a fire department ambulance, police said.