Wednesday, July 11, 2001

Man dies after struggle with police, firefighters

By Jim Hannah
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        NEWPORT — A patient at a community mental-health agency office died Tuesday while police and firefighters tried to subdue him, Newport police said.

        Pitman Davidson, 49, of West 10th Street, Newport, was pronounced dead at 1:08 p.m. at St. Luke Hospital East, Fort Thomas.

        Mr. Davidson may have died of a heart attack, said Lt. Phil Liles, spokesman for Newport police. An autopsy will be performed today.

        Newport fire and police departments were called to the North Key community health-care office on Columbia Street shortly after noon to help a person in need of medical assistance.

        Lt. Liles said Mr. Davidson refused to admit himself into the hospital for psychiatric care and became unruly. Officers and fire personnel wrestled him to the floor. Lt. Liles said there was a struggle to handcuff him.

        When they rolled him onto his side, police said, he appeared to have stopped breathing.

        North Key is responsible for indigent mental health care in eight Northern Kentucky counties, including Boone, Kenton and Campbell. The agency has 300 employees — including psychiatrics, psychologists, social workers and case managers — with an annual operating budget of more than $17 million.

        The Columbia Street office is an adult outpatient center.


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