SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – A man suffered life threatening injuries during a foot pursuit with police in Saratoga Springs early Saturday morning after allegedly falling nearly 20-feet from scaffolding.
The Saratoga Springs Police Department says around 3 a.m. on Saturday, officers were on foot patrol on Caroline Street when they say they saw a male shove a female's head into a brick wall.
Officers then approached the man, identified at 21-year-old Darryl Mount Jr. of Malta, to take him into custody when he allegedly fled on foot. Authorities say Mount ran south on Broadway into an alley on the north side of the Washington Building, at 422 Broadway.
Officers say they attempted to deploy a taser twice during the foot pursuit while in the alley, but failed and did not make contact with Mount. Police say all taser probes have been recovered at the scene and have been secured in the custody of the police department.
Police say Mount then continued to run behind the Washington Building into the construction area, out of sight of the officers. At the rear of the building, there is a wooden barrier in place to prevent unauthorized access to the construction area and scaffolding behind the building.
Police say the area has no lighting and was wet from rain earlier that night. Police officers pursuing Mount reported that he climbed over a railing adjacent to the wooden barrier and onto the scaffolding at the rear of the building. One officer pursued Mount onto the scaffolding, but was slowed by the construction area that is a tangle of wood, metal posts, and support beams. Police say it was at this point that officers, including the officer on the scaffolding, lost sight of Mount.
Other officers then ran around the front of the building to Gardner Lane next to Lillian's on Broadway in an attempt to secure any escape routes. The initial officer trailing Mount noticed a witness approaching the area along the sidewalk between Gaffney's and Izumi Bar and Grill. He called to the person to inquire if they had seen anyone running through the area, and the witness reported that he heard a thud or crash and came to investigate but that he did not see anyone running.
Officers then conducted an area check, and according to authorities, Mount was found unconscious on the sidewalk between Gaffney's and Izumi Bar and Grill.
Emergency medical crews assisted Mount on scene, including cutting away Mount's clothing to attend to injuries, before he was transported to Albany Medical Center.
Mount's mother, Patty Jackson, tells NEWS10 her son is currently in a coma and on life support.
"Right now I am more concerned about the well-being of my son, but I will be seeking answers," Jackson says. "I'm not going to stop until my son has justice."
In a release sent to NEWS10, Saratoga Springs Police Chief Gregory Veitch addressed allegations made by some that Mount was beaten by police:
"The police department has received several calls inquiring if police officers have been suspended or charged in relation to this incident. Many have referred to allegations made on social media and other internet websites. Some of the calls reference police officers, by name, who were not even working at the time. Some have referred to the tearing of Mr. Mount's clothing as evidence that the police tore his clothing off of him during a beating although firefighters cut off his clothing to attend to Mr. Mount's injuries as they do in many serious injury cases. Others still have claimed the police assaulted Mr. Mount on Caroline Street and were later seen chasing him down Gardiner Lane. There is no evidence at this point that police engaged in anything other than a foot pursuit onto un-lit construction scaffolding behind 422 Broadway. The pursuit was begun after officers observed Mr. Mount assault another person and in accordance with what Saratoga Springs Police Officers are mandated to do. No witnesses have come forward and stated that they observed police officers using force on Mr. Mount. Anyone who claims that they observed any officers beating a suspect in this or any case is encouraged to contact me directly and I will personally take their statement."
Saratoga Springs Police Department policy mandates an arrest in cases of domestic violence where any offense is committed in the presence of an officer, even if the victim does not want to pursue the arrest or prosecution. However, police say due to Mount's condition they are not pressing charges at this time.
Veitch says police have canvassed the area for video of the incident. He says there is no video of the area where Mount allegedly fell from the scaffolding, however there is video of Caroline Street showing Mount shoving the female victim into the wall, running away, and police officers giving chase. A second video shows several officers in pursuit of Mount as he runs into the alley on the north side of 422 Broadway and moments later three officers running from the alley south bound in front of the building to Gardner Lane as they attempt to intercept Mount or establish a perimeter at the rear of the building. A third video shows officers running down Gardner Lane; no one is running in front of them. Veitch says all of the video is secured as evidence pending grand jury action.
Veitch says no witnesses have come forward with information what happened in the area behind 422 Broadway, police speculate Mount somehow fell or jumped from the scaffolding in an attempt evade police. This was also the initial report to dispatchers from responding medical personnel, who said it's about 19 to 20-feet from the scaffolding to the ground where Mount was found and falls from this height can result in very serious injuries.
Police continue to ask anyone who has information regarding this incident to contact the police department at 518-584-1800, at www.saratogapolice.org, or anonymously at 518-584-TIPS.
"Any allegation of police brutality will be taken seriously by the Saratoga Springs Police Department. This investigation is still on-going. There may be additional facts, evidence or witnesses that are not yet known to the police. I encourage anyone who witnessed this incident to report their information to authorities," Veitch says.