Police Investigate Suspicious Death Involving EMSA

Wednesday, October 3rd 2012, 10:32 pm
By: News 9

Oklahoma City police are investigating EMSA for its involvement in the events leading up to what officers are calling a suspicious death.

Police want to know if a fight between EMSA personnel and a patient caused the death of 42-year-old Jason Marshall. Officers say Marshall died after EMSA assaulted him and exposed him to a chemical that apparently caused him to pass out.

"This investigation is a little bit unorthodox," noted Capt. Dexter Nelson with Oklahoma City police.

Police say they now have to backtrack. Officers do not have a crime scene and say they just learned of the attack 50 days after it happened.

"Our investigators did not have the luxury of being able to examine the back of the ambulance," Nelson said.

The Medical Examiner's Office ruled Jason Marshall's death natural. However, that did not sit well with a fireman at the scene, who later contacted police.

Officers say on August 6, 2012, the Oklahoma City Fire Department and EMSA were called to the Union Bus Station downtown to help a man who was acting disoriented. Police were initially called, but officers were later told they were not needed.

"[Officers] basically left knowing this was a medical incident," Nelson said.

Police say once Marshall was inside the ambulance, he became violent. Police say he kicked and scratched one fireman and bit the thumb of an EMSA employee. That's when police say the crew had to fight Marshall to restrain him.

During the fight, EMSA is accused of placing Marshall in a choke hold and striking him in the face several times. EMSA is also accused of using a spray that caused Marshall to pass out.

Marshall was taken to St. Anthony Hospital and died two days later on August 8, 2012.

Now, police are looking through medical records and interviewing witnesses to find out what really happened. EMSA officials would not go on camera Wednesday but say this case was investigated internally. Police say if their investigation leads to foul play, the Medical Examiner's Office may reopen its case.

Two search warrants filed in Oklahoma County District Court Wednesday show investigators have collected more than 400 pages of Marshall's medical records.