Special prosecutor: Rescue call was not mishandled

SANDUSKY A special prosecutor has found no basis for a father's claim that mistakes made by the Sand
Sandusky Register Staff
May 24, 2010

 

SANDUSKY

A special prosecutor has found no basis for a father's claim that mistakes made by the Sandusky Fire Department led to the death of his 17-year-old son.

The father, William Young Jr., filed a complaint with Sandusky police alleging fire personnel did not follow proper procedures May 9 when treating his son, Mufaro Young, who died of an asthma attack.

In a letter dated June 14, police Chief Kim Nuesse informed William Young she had referred the investigation to city Law Director Don Icsman, who assigned a special prosecutor to the case.

"The special prosecutor, Mr. Lang, has found that there is no basis for an investigation into this situation," the letter stated.

This finding did not satisfy William Young, who said Lang never talked to him or his family about what happened May 9.

"How could he do any investigation without talking to me or my witnesses?" Young said. "You didn't come talk to me or my family, so how could you conclude I'm in the wrong? That's biased."

The Sandusky Fire Department has continually expressed regret for not being able to save Mufaro Young's life, but Assistant Chief Paul Ricci and Chief Mike Meinzer maintain their EMS crew followed proper procedure the morning of the incident.

"We did everything we could to try and save the young man," Ricci said in an interview following Mufaro Young's death. "Sometimes our best efforts may not be good enough, and for that we carry heavy hearts .... Anytime when a teenager dies unexpectedly, it's a tragedy and a loss for EMS personnel as well as the family and the community."

Young said he doesn't doubt the fire department's sincerity, but remains convinced the EMS crew who responded to his home that Wednesday morning acted negligently.

"I ain't never gonna say they were the cause of his death," Young said in a recent interview. "They were the cause of him not surviving that asthma attack."

Sandusky fire personnel say William Young and his family were emotionally distraught when EMS personnel tried to help Mufaro Young, and that they created a hostile environment, which interfered with their treatment of the 17-year-old.

"From what I understand the scene was very stressed," Ricci said. "It was very sensitive there."

In her letter to William Young, Nuesse said Young's actions that morning could be considered criminal.

"Your actions, during this incident, were threatening towards the fire personnel who were attempting to provide care to your son," she said in her letter. "You could potentially be criminally charged for your actions, due to your interference in the emergency situation and the risk of harm you presented to those who responded to assist you and your family."

Several members of William Young's family suffer from chronic asthma, and Sandusky fire and EMS personnel have responded to Young's McDonough Street home on numerous occasions, including one since the death of Mufaro Young.

Mufaro Young is not the first child in William Young's family to die of an asthma attack. His older sister, Miiesha Young died in 1992 at age 15 when the family lived in Detroit.