CLEVELAND -- The Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner has ruled the Jan. 7 death of Kenneth Barkley, 15, of Cleveland, at OhioGuidstone in Berea a homicide after he was physically restrained during an incident.
OhioGuidestone, formerly Berea Children's Home and Family Services, just released the following statement:
"On January 7, 2014, Kenneth Barkley, a resident at our Mahler Group Home, passed away after becoming violent with one of our staff members. The Cuyahoga County coroner's report, released today, has ruled on the manner of Kenneth's death.
Time hasn't made this tragedy easier. Our prayers remain with Kenneth's family, friends and other residents. We are grateful for the concern of the entire community during this very traumatic time for our family at OhioGuidestone. We continue to stand by and support the staff members involved in this tragic event.
We trust that continued focus on our mission, to strengthen children, families and communities will carry us through this difficult time."
The Medical Examiner said Barkley was taken to Southwest General Health Center that night where he was treated and pronounced dead.
The Medical Examiner says the cause of death was "traumatic asphyxia during (an) altercation" and ruled the death a homicide.
Berea police were called to the home about 6:43 p.m. that day and found Barkley not breathing and unconscious, according to the police report.
The report said witnesses said Barkley was using a computer in a living room area when he was told he needed to stop to take medication. When the home's employee took away the computer keyboard, Barkley became upset and attacked the employee.
The employee, according to the witness statements in the report, put Barkley in a bear hug and forced him onto the floor, continuing to restrain him. A while later, they noticed Barkley had stopped breathing
Berea police have not made any arrest in the incident.