Lancaster County District Attorney Craig Stedman has reviewed an April 14 incident in Ephrata that involved the drowning death of a 24-year-old man.
On that evening at WellSpan Ephrata Community Hospital, Andrew D. Good fled from a Lancaster County deputy sheriff who took him into custody for an outstanding warrant.
Mr. Good ran into the Cocalico Creek and drown. The Lancaster County Coroner’s Office ruled his death accidental, caused by freshwater drowning.
District Attorney Stedman’s role was limited to making determination on whether a crime was committed which resulted in death, because Good died while in custody of a law-enforcement agency and all in-custody deaths are reviewed.
Lancaster County detectives, who responded to Ephrata on the night of the incident, and were assisted by Ephrata police, investigated the incident and presented all reports and information – including surveillance-video footage - to DA Stedman, who then made a ruling.
District Attorney Stedman determined no crime was committed by law enforcement which resulted in Mr. Good’s death.
District Attorney Stedman and several county detectives met with Mr. Good’s family on Friday and reviewed all information, including surveillance footage, while discussing the determination.
Here is a narrative of events, compiled through the investigation:
Mr. Good was initially taken into custody (for the warrant), by Akron and Ephrata police, at a location in Akron. Mr. Good did attempt to flee and resist arrest. During police transport to a police station, Mr. Good complained of pain and asked to be taken to a hospital.
At the hospital, medical professionals cleared Mr. Good to be taken to prison. Akron police then transferred custody of Mr. Good to the Sheriff’s Office. A deputy, Barbara Rodriguez, responded to the hospital and took custody of Mr. Good.
Inside the hospital, Deputy Rodriguez placed Mr. Good in handcuffs, which were secured to a waistband, and ankle shackles. (It was determined one of the ankle shackles was unfastened at some point before or during Mr. Good’s escaping/fleeing. This office has been unable to determine exactly what took place to explain why/how one shackle became unfastened.)
About 7:40 p.m., Deputy Rodriguez, in uniform, walked Mr. Good out of the hospital and to her transport vehicle, which had Sheriff’s Office decals and markings.
Deputy Rodriguez opens the door for Mr. Good, but he refused to get in, asking the deputy for some air. He then makes maneuvers to escape/flee and eventually runs away.
Deputy Rodriguez uses radio to call for assistance and chases Mr. Good. Deputy Rodriguez deployed a Taser twice during the foot pursuit, but was unable to stop him. Surveillance video shows a Taser wire appearing to be attached to Mr. Good as he jumps/stumbles down an embankment. Mr. Good gets up and continues to run.
At that time, video footage also shows one of the ankle shackles is clearly unfastened from Mr. Good’s leg.
Mr. Good crosses a parking lot and street (on the hospital campus) into a wooded area, by the creek. Deputy Rodriguez loses sight and contact with Mr. Good at that point.
Hospital security personnel and police from neighboring jurisdictions arrive on scene.
The next time Mr. Good is seen, he is at the edge of the water. As he sees law-enforcement, he moves away further into the creek, presumably to continue to evade capture. As he backed further and further into the creek, the water became too deep for him to stand. Officers reported Mr. Good struggling to stay afloat in the water and calling for help. It must be noted that Mr. Good’s hands were still cuffed and secured to his belt, so he would not have been able to use his arms to tread water.
Three police officers entered the water and multiple others were stationed close by, ready to enter, if Mr. Good were to reappear. Visibility was obscured by darkness at this point and officers could not immediately locate Mr. Good.
Mr. Good was found deceased in the creek around 9:20 p.m.
District Attorney Stedman is making no determination on protocol and procedures employed during the incident.
MEDIA CONTACT: Brett A. Hambright, 717-295-2041; firstname.lastname@example.org; Twitter: @BrettHambright