NY group home resident dies after police struggle


YAPHANK, N.Y. (AP) — A “violent and uncontrollable” resident of a Long Island group home for the developmentally disabled died after officers used a Taser on him during a struggle, a police official said Thursday.

Three officers were treated at a hospital and released following the Wednesday night encounter, Suffolk County Police Lt. Jack Fitzpatrick said at a briefing.  

An autopsy is planned to determine what caused the death of the resident, Dainell Simmons, 29.

The officers, two women and a man, initially were able to calm Simmons after they were summoned to the Maryhaven Center of Hope facility, a tidy, two-story house with brown shingles and black and white trim in suburban Middle Island.

But when they told Simmons they were taking him to a hospital for a psychiatric evaluation, he began kicking and punching them, Fitzpatrick said.

All three officers wrestled with the 240-pound Simmons on the floor while trying to handcuff him. Two of them used a Taser on the resident; he also was hit with pepper spray.

The officers were “put in a very difficult position,” said Fitzpatrick. It was not clear how many residents were in the house at the time.

Other officers arrived to assist them. Simmons later died at a hospital.

“Maryhaven Center of Hope extends their deepest sympathy to this family. As this is an active police investigation, we cannot comment further,” the center said in a statement.

The state Office for People With Developmental Disabilities, which regulates group homes, declined to comment.


11 thoughts on “NY group home resident dies after police struggle

  1. What’s new? These animals could have asked for more assistance, they use the tazer for just about any situation, they use it as a punishment or if they just do not like someone. The weapon is meant as a last resort before shooting someone, they abuse it as they abuse every weapon they possess as well as the law and their authority. A day of reckoning is coming! God bless us all!

  2. WTF?! The people at these homes are supposed to be trained to take care of “behaviors” Period!
    There is NO reason whatsoever they should have to call the cops on a resident.
    I worked at a State Home back in the 80’s, we were taught to take down a resident quickly and safely and able to hold them until we could calm them down.
    I weighed abt 120 at the time and had no problem quickly, safely and without harm taking down a sometimes (“violent and/or *uncontrollable*=putting self, residents or staff in danger or harm*”) 200+lb person and holding them until intervention could be done. Again WTF?!?

    1. Yes RT. I used to work as support for mentally handicapped people and they were abused more times than not . All people would have to do is treat them like people and they would calm down with no problem. I have found that a lot of handicaped people not only have a mental problem but they also are looked down on by society and they are very aware of that. Most of them are pretty cool people and not violent at all. How would most “normal” people like to be f`ed with like the handicaped, I bet most people would be violent and they are called normal people. You are absolutly right RT, there is no reason to call the cops on a resident at all.

      1. It’s a shame Digger,
        Obviously Simmons didn’t want to go to the hospital, he had calmed down, wth happened to His rights there?
        Can you imagine how terrified he must have been when they had him on the floor trying to cuff him, not to mention the pepper spray and tazers?!
        Handicapped people are looked down upon by so many…….no one calls “this” prejudice.
        Digger, I could go on…..just too sad 🙁

      2. i work with the mentally handicapped in nys and we are trained to call 911 if they become phyisically assaultive or destroy stuff however you are right they do train us scip tactics for how to stop them but these tactics should only be used if your being assaulted

        1. That’s crazy…….why not call their Parents/Guardian, Dr. or their Social Worker if someone has to be called…………

  3. some of these clients including females are abnormally strong and can take down grown men. maybe they should have told him they were going out for ice cream instead.

    1. Hey Mel, ya know some ice cream sounds good! Ya wanna go?
      I’ll freakin’ show how it’s done 🙂

    2. Hey Mel, just because they are handicaped doesn`t mean that they are stupid. Just because they are a little slow or think different doesn`t mean that they don`t know what is up going to get ice cream. They know when they are getting buggered and they don`t like it any more than anyone else.

  4. This is for mental health professionals, not cops. If the patient is not violent if left alone why not back off and leave him alone until qualified assistance arrives? Why call the cops in the first place? Isn’t their job to enforce the law?

  5. That’s America, the land where cops, and not doctors, are called whenever a patient is not easy to handle.

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