October 23, 2009
HALIFAX, N.S. — A mentally ill man was bleeding from the mouth moments before he died in custody two years ago, a Nova Scotia corrections officer who came in contact with him said at a fatality inquiry Friday.
Cameron Lamond was working at the Central Nova Scotia Correctional Facility on Nov. 22, 2007, when Howard Hyde was brought in for an alleged assault on his common-law wife.
The guard said one of his colleagues remarked that Hyde had blood coming from his mouth as several officers wrestled him to the floor of the cell following a brief scuffle.
"Someone said he was bleeding from the mouth," Lamond told the inquiry, adding that health-care services and 911 were called shortly after.
Hyde, who had long suffered from schizophrenia and had been off his medications for more than a week, was taken to a hospital where he was pronounced dead.
The silent video shows another guard trying to get Hyde to walk down a long corridor to get ready for a court appearance.
When Hyde doesn't budge, another officer appears and within seconds, they bring down Hyde and handcuff his hands behind his back as he twice cries out that he is an innocent man.
The inquiry has heard evidence that Hyde continued to struggle and was again forced to the floor in a cell where he blacked out and never regained consciousness.
A coroner later listed the cause of death as excited delirium stemming from paranoid schizophrenia.
Another guard testified earlier that before the first scuffle, Hyde shouted that he didn't want to enter the hallway because there were "demons" there.
The inquiry, which started in July, is trying to determine why Hyde never received the psychiatric help he needed and what can be done to prevent similar deaths in the future.
Hyde's case has attracted national attention largely because his death came 30 hours after he was Tasered up to five times as he tried to escape a police station in downtown Halifax.
WELCOME to TRUTH ... not TASERS
Friday, October 23, 2009
October 23, 2009