Autopsy: Amit Bornstein Had Pre-Existing Heart Condition When He Died in Jail

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amit-bornsteinFrom the Asbury Park Press: A 22-year-old Marlboro man who died in the Monmouth County Jail this summer had a pre-existing heart condition that was exacerbated by his physical altercation with correction officers, according to an autopsy report.Dr. Frederick J. DiCarlo, assistant medical examiner in Middlesex County, concluded in his Nov. 9 report that Amit Bornstein’s manner of death was an accident.

The Asbury Park Press recently obtained a copy of the report, which has not yet been released by the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office because the July 29 incident is still under investigation.

Sheriff’s officers picked up Bornstein from his home about 12:30 p.m. for failure to appear in court for disorderly persons and traffic violations. The aspiring pro poker player was pronounced dead at CentraState Medical Center, Freehold Township, seven hours later.

DiCarlo, who watched a videotape of the incident inside the jail’s intake room, provides a time line of events in his summary. He wrote that Bornstein was involved in the booking process about 5:25 p.m. “when he became verbally abusive and combative with officers because he was not permitted to use his cell phone.”

DiCarlo wrote that Bornstein resisted restraint by refusing to place his hands behind his back to be handcuffed. Five minutes later, several officers were on the floor attempting to restrain him. Even after he was dosed with pepper spray, shackled at the wrists and ankles, Bornstein resisted by spitting at the officers. A spit mask was placed on his face.

Bornstein was secured in a wheelchair and transported to a medical unit. At 6 p.m., he was give the drug Ativan to calm him down. Forty minutes later, his heartbeat had slowed and he was unresponsive. Attempts were made to resuscitate him until medics arrived. He was pronounced dead at 7:31 p.m. at the hospital.

David Katz, a New York attorney hired by the Bornstein family, said the autopsy bolsters his case. The family filed a notice to sue the county for wrongful death.

“This is not a natural death,” Katz said, adding that the medical examiner sought further lab testing to determine if anabolic steroids would be found in Bornstein’s system but there were none.However, there was a presence of tamoxifen, a breast cancer drug often used by illegal steroid users to balance their hormone levels. Katz suggested that Bornstein, who worked out at the gym regularly, may have been weaning himself off the drugs that often lead to “roid rage.”

DiCarlo stated that none of the blunt-trauma injuries were life-threatening or contributed to Bornstein’s death. Still, Katz said he wonders if the appropriate use of force was administered.

Dr. Michael Baden, a renowned forensic pathologist hired by the Bornstein family, said he agreed with most of DiCarlo’s findings. Baden concurred that the strapping young man had advanced heart disease but died as a result of the law enforcement restraint.

“If he was not restrained in that manner, he would not have died,” Baden said, adding that he will conduct further testing over the next few weeks before offering a final analysis of the case.

Sheriff Shaun Golden has said preliminary reports show there was no wrongdoing on the part of corrections officers, but he would not comment on the autopsy. His spokeswoman, Cynthia Scott, said the sheriff cannot comment on whether there have been any disciplinary charges, transfers or policy changes – or whether there was an appropriate use of force – until the prosecutor’s investigation is complete.

{Read full report at APP/Matzav.com}

2 COMMENTS

  1. I THINK THAT THIS MAN WAS MISTREATED. I KNOW THAT SOMETIMES PEOPLE DO BECOME VIOLENT TOWARDS OFFICERS BECAUSE LETS FACE IT NOBODY WANTS TO BE LOCKED UP WHETHER THEY DID SOMETHING WRONG OR NOT. SOME OFFICERS BECOME VERY ENRAGED BECAUSE PEOPLE DONT WANT TO BE LOCKED UP OR HANDCUFFED. THE PROBLEM IS THAT OFFICERS HAVE TO REMEMBER THAT PEOPLE ARE PEOPLE AND SHOULD BE TREATED AS SUCH AND NOT LIKE ANIMALS EVEN IF THEY HAVE COMMITTED CRIMES. READING THIS ARTICLE I DO FEEL THAT THEY WERE THE CAUSE OF THIS MANS DEATH AND MY HEART GOES OUT TO HIS FAMILY. TO THE FAMILY I SAY FIGHT AND DON’T GIVE UP. ITS NOT ABOUT THE MONEY ITS ABOUT JUSTICE AND I HOPE THAT YOUR FAMILY CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE SO THAT ANOTHER FAMILY WILL NOT HAVE TO GO THROUGH THE SAME TRADGEY.

    • The article pretty clearly gives evidence that, thought the treatment was rough, (which is often necessary in an environment like that) there were multiple factors that lead to his death. His behavior and self medication played a role as large as the officers did.

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