Police arrest and charge 400-pound man in death of 11-year-old autistic step-grandson

Police arrest and charge 400-pound man in death of 11-year-old autistic step-grandson
Police charged Donald Martin Jr., with reckless homicide in the death of his step-grandson in rural Brown County in Ohio. Martin, a 400-pound man, used his body to restrain his step-grandson, and the 90-pound boy was unresponsive when first responders arrived. (Image source: WLWT screenshot)

Police arrested an Ohio man Friday following the death of his 11-year-old step-grandson.

Donald Martin Jr., 58, is charged with reckless homicide, a third-degree felony, in the death of Dylan Davis.

Dylan died after being restrained by his 400-pound grandfather, Fox News reported.

What’s happened?

Police responded to a 911 call in rural Brown County on Friday evening.

The caller described herself as the boy’s grandmother.

“He came home, and he threw a fit. The police, they come here all the time for him, and he threw a fit,” the grandmother told the dispatcher, according to Fox News. “My husband was holding him down; he got sick and then … I think he just passed out. I don’t know.”

She told the dispatcher that her step-grandson was lethargic and lying on the floor.

“There was some type of altercation between the 11-year-old and his grandmother, and the step-grandfather stepped in and restrained the juvenile,” Brown County Sheriff Gordon Ellis told WLWT-TV.  It “ appears that the 11-year-old was deceased as a result of positional asphyxiation or compression.”

When first responders arrived, the 90-pound boy was unresponsive.

“He [boy] wasn’t restrained for seconds, this was over a matter of minutes,” Brown County prosecutor Zach Corb said.

The grandmother told WLWT that she and her husband loved the boy very much and didn’t understand why police arrested her husband.

Did the boy have any special needs or medical conditions?

Dylan’s father, Sam Davis, told WLWT that his son was autistic.

“I feel sad. I feel angry. I feel confused. I wish it never would [sic] have happened,” he said.

Davis said his son was a “great kid” who enjoyed the outdoors. Sometimes, though, he said his son showed signs of aggression.

“He was getting older,” Davis said, according to WLWT. “Sometimes his anger was getting stronger and sometimes he had to be physically restrained.”

Is Martin still jailed?

The court set Martin’s bond at $100,000. He was scheduled to appear in court on Tuesday. Martin was not on the Brown County Sheriff’s Department inmate roster at publication time.

23 Comments