An internal police investigation has cleared guards at the Anne Arundel County, Md., jail of allegations that they withheld medical attention from an inmate who died of a heart attack last month, a police official said yesterday.
Herman G. Huffman, 48, who was serving a six-month sentence on work release for drunken driving, was pronounced dead an hour after being taken by ambulance from the jail to Anne Arundel General Hospital on July 14.
Another inmate, who is trained as a paramedic, had said that his requests to hospitalize Huffman, who he said was having chest pains, were ignored for two hours until Huffman had a seizure.
But Sgt. Dave Bunting of the Anne Arundel police, who headed the investigation, said the probe concluded that guards did not ignore requests for medical attention.
Investigators said Huffman at least twice told guards he did not believe he needed to be hospitalized.
"After our investigation," said Bunting, "we found that there was no wrongdoing on the part of the guards at the detention center."
He added, "Our investigation shows that the guards' version is what happened, to the best of our knowledge."
The county criminal justice administrator requested the police inquiry after a review by jail officials failed to reconcile accounts of the incident from a guard and an inmate.