Teen Dies of a Heart Attack While In Police Custody After First Ambulance Sent Away

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Teen Dies Of Heart Attack In Police Custody After First Ambulance Sent Away

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  • April V. Taylor

An autopsy has revealed that teenager Terrell Day of Indianapolis suffered a heart attack and died in police custody after complaining of breathing problems. The official cause of death according to the Marion County coroner’s office was acute myocardial infarction, with no penetrating trauma.

The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department (IMPD) reports that Day was approached by a security guard at Burlington Coat Factory after he was suspected of shoplifting. According to witnesses, Day took off running out of the store after pointing a gun at the security guard. Officers caught up with him down the street and found him lying in the grass behind a gas station where he surrendered without a problem.

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Not long after officers encountered Day, he began complaining that he was having trouble breathing. An ambulance was called for, and Day was examined by an EMS crew who found no indication of an underlying medical condition. The Department of  Public Safety reports that Day did not indicate that he wanted any further medical attention and signed a release after which EMTs cleared him to be transported to jail.

Before Day reached the jail, he complained again that he could not breathe, and his condition deteriorated quickly. A second ambulance was called, but Day died in the back of it while en route to the hospital.

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Day’s mother Shanika Askew is not convinced that her son was shoplifting or that he was in possession of a gun. She says that he was working at Taco Bell and finishing school. Askew does not believe that emergency crews took her son’s complaints seriously, stating, “He had no asthma. He didn’t have no history of anything. I just want answers to why they didn’t send him to the hospital when he said he was hurting the first time. Why did they leave and have to come back?”

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She goes on to state, “Don’t just determine there’s nothing wrong with him, cause obviously, there was something wrong with him and they ignored it.” Despite EMS being confident that they provided the highest level of response and care, they have launched an internal investigation. IMPD is also investigating Day’s death.

IEMS Chief Charles Miramonti stated in a police report, “The Indianapolis EMS family would like to extend our sincere condolences. We have already launched a full internal investigation and at this time are confident the highest level of response and care was provided.”

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Last updated by K-Blao Sep 30, 2015.

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