Roell v. Hamilton County Board of Commissioners, No. 16-4045 (6th Cir. 2017)Annotate this Case
Roell suffered from schizoaffective disorder and paranoid delusions. Roell’s symptoms could be controlled by medication but he stopped taking his medication in June 2013 and began exhibiting signs of mental decompensation. On the night of August 12-13, Roell entered a state of excited delirium. His wife was out of town. Roell damaged their condominium, then went to the condominium of his neighbor, Agarwal, and threw a flower pot through her window. Agarwal called 911, stating that her neighbor was “acting crazy.” Agarwal testified that Roell appeared angry, his face red and his eyes bulging, as he muttered unintelligible things, while pacing in front of Agarwal’s broken window, peering into her condominium. Deputies arrived and saw Roell holding a garden hose with a metal nozzle in one hand and a garden basket in the other, wearing a t-shirt, but otherwise naked., Roell was screaming “no” and something about water. While attempting to subdue Roell, the deputies physically struggled with him and unsuccessfully tased him multiple times. Roell stopped breathing during the encounter and was pronounced dead shortly thereafter. His death was documented by the coroner as natural, resulting from his excited delirium. The Sixth Circuit affirmed summary judgment in favor of the deputies on Mrs. Roell’s claim under 42 U.S.C. 1983, and in favor of Hamilton County on her claims under section 1983 and the Americans with Disabilities Act.