Police summon help for man who drank antifreeze

November 10, 2001|By Laura Barnhardt | Laura Barnhardt,SUN STAFF

Anne Arundel County police obtained medical help in time to save the life of a Glen Burnie man who drank antifreeze shortly before he was arrested Thursday, accused of assaulting a relative. The 22-year-old man was in stable condition at a Baltimore hospital yesterday.

The case occurred less than a week after a county police trial board recommended firing an officer for failing to get medical attention for a Calvert County man who died of antifreeze poisoning in a county police holding cell nearly a year ago.

This time, officers called for an ambulance as soon as they were told that David M. Luedtke might have ingested antifreeze, according to police reports.

On Thursday night, Northern District police arrested Luedtke after he was accused of assaulting his 44-year-old mother, Dianne Luedtke, who called 911 from a neighbor's house about 5:40 p.m. But before officers could officially charge Luedkte with assault, his mother called police back and said she thought her son, who appeared to be drunk, might have drank antifreeze.

Officers questioned Luedtke, who told police that he drank antifreeze, said Lt. Joseph E. Jordan, a county police spokesman. Police also called for an ambulance, according to dispatch records.

Luedtke remained at Harbor Hospital Center yesterday.

In December, a 20-year-old Calvert County man died of antifreeze poisoning in a Southern District holding cell about six hours after an officer mistakenly arrested him for drunken driving.

A trial board recommended this month that the arresting officer be fired for failing to seek medical attention for the young man, who was in and out of consciousness, slurring his words and having trouble walking on his own. A sergeant and a lieutenant face similar departmental charges in the Dec. 15 death.

In this case, Luedtke's mother said, "The police responded quickly. ... I was lucky this time. But if I hadn't found the bottle of antifreeze half empty, he could've died in a jail cell."

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