Monday, January 11, 2010

Eden Prairie, Minnesota: Timothy Aleshire, 27, dies after being restrained at work

Timothy Aleshire, age 27

Gail Rosenblum: Could training in restraint use have averted this tragedy?

Nancy Aleshire is fighting mad. Her son, Timothy Aleshire, 27, was near death Wednesday, after being physically restrained by four people at his state-operated workplace in Eden Prairie.

Aleshire isn't making excuses for her son, who has struggled for years with schizophrenia, developmental disabilities and Asperger syndrome, a form of autism. She is candid about his violent history, including coming at his 4-foot-10 mother with a knife on a few occasions, and nearly strangling her on another. The key word, though, is "history."

For the past four or five years, Tim, who lives in a group home in Minneapolis with a trained, round-the-clock staff, has been making impressive progress. He was taking his antipsychotic medication and hadn't struck his mother in that entire time. He was not problem-free, but his emotional outbursts were fewer and his strategy for dealing with them encouraging.

"When he would see himself getting aggressive, he would go into his room, as opposed to hurting somebody," Nancy said. "That's where he was at."

Something happened Dec. 31 that caused him to swing at a co-worker at Metro Resources Technology Park. He was held down for an unknown period, then rushed to Fairview Southdale Hospital in Edina. According to the medical report, he had no pulse for 30 minutes.

His mother signed papers Tuesday to allow his organs to be donated should the time come. She hopes criminal charges will be filed or, at least, somebody will get fired.

"My question is: Why four people?" she said. "Being the victim of Tim's assaults, I certainly understand the need for restraining him, but that never resulted in him losing consciousness and going into cardiac arrest.

"Tim," she said, "would want me to fight for him."

Finger-pointing is human, but more helpful is a transparent investigation, which the police and state Department of Human Services have promised.

Disabled man dies of injuries after being restrained at work
Star Tribune

Tim Aleshire, a 27-year-old developmentally disabled man injured while being restrained last week by a handful of people at his state-operated workplace in Eden Prairie, has died, his mother said.

Nancy Aleshire said that her son died Friday. She has yet to hear what the Hennepin County medical examiner's office has determined about the cause of Tim's death.

He was injured Dec. 31 when four people at Metro Resources Technology Park restrained him as he tried to assault a co-worker, Nancy Aleshire said. He remained unconscious until his death, she said.

Police in Eden Prairie are investigating the death. The state Department of Human Services, which runs Metro Resources, is conducting an internal inquiry. Neither is saying more about the case.

Aleshire said Monday that she has hired an attorney to pursue a civil wrongful-death claim against Metro Resources and possibly others.