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DOJ assessing death of Frederick man with Down syndrome

FREDERICK — A Justice Department official says the agency is looking into the death of man with Down syndrome after he was removed from a theater by sheriff’s deputies.

Down syndrome advocates met Tuesday with officials from the Justice Department’s Community Relations Service. The office works to resolve tensions due to race, gender, disability and other factors.

Lou Ruffino, a senior adviser with the office, told The Frederick News-Post that the office held a listening session with the advocates and is assessing and monitoring the situation. Ruffino says if certain criteria are met, his office will continue to work with the groups.

Twenty-six-year-old Robert Ethan Saylor of New Market suffocated to death Jan. 12 at the Westview Stadium 16 cinema. The Frederick County Sheriff’s Office says three deputies, moonlighting as security officers, were trying to forcibly remove him from the theater after he refused to leave and became disruptive.

A Frederick County grand jury has decided not to indict the three deputies involved in the incident.