Autopsy of man who died after Key West arrest shows 10 cracked ribs



A Michigan man who died after being taken down by Key West police had 10 broken ribs, according to an autopsy report.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement remains tight-lipped about its investigation into the Nov. 28 death of Charles Eimers a week after he had his run-in with police.

Monroe County Medical Examiner E. Hunt Scheuerman made clear that his report, released last week in response to a public records request, is distinct from a final report on his findings and opinion. Before he finalizes that, he's awaiting FDLE's report on the circumstances surrounding Eimers' death.

"In this particular case no opinions have been rendered," Scheuerman said.

Eimers, 61, of Birch Run, Mich., died at Lower Keys Medical Center after being taken off life support on Dec. 4.

Police pulled him over on North Roosevelt Boulevard on Nov. 28. Police said he pulled away from the traffic stop, drove through Old Town, then stopped his P.T. Cruiser on the sand at South Beach at the Atlantic end of Duval Street.

While police were handcuffing Eimers (he was on his stomach in the sand), he "began turning blue," according to Officer Thaddeus Calvart's account. At that point officers began performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation as EMTS arrived and took over.

According to the autopsy report, Eimers had 10 broken ribs and wounds on both wrists. Key West attorney David Paul Horan, representing the Eimers family (no lawsuit has been filed) made the public-records request.

"We looked into that because we weren't getting anything from" Scheuerman, Horan said. "Frankly none of it surprised us except the 10 broken ribs. Can you imagine, in CPR?"

"I'm not going to explain anything in those objective findings. Anything I explain becomes an opinion," Scheuerman said. reported that "the patient was sick for another week at the hospital [after his arrest] and then refrigerated for another week prior to autopsy. Most of the indicators would have disappeared by then."

It also reported that tissue and other specimens taken from Eimers at Lower Keys Medical Center were destroyed. Hospital spokesman Randy Detrick said CEO Nikki Will would have to address that but she was unavailable for comment.

Meanwhile, FDLE spokesman Steve Arthur confirmed the "investigation remains active."

Asked to respond to reports that the 13 local police officers involved have declined to make statements to the FDLE, Arthur said, "We can't release any information until the investigation is complete and becomes a public record."

Horan said there's a meeting between the local police, attorneys from the Police Benevolent Association and FDLE set for Wednesday.

Those involved are Detective Janeth Calvert, sergeants Frank Zamora and Pablo Rodriguez, and officers Todd Stevens, Gary Lee Lovette, Kathyann Wanciak, Derek Wallis, Henry del Valle, Gabriel Garrido, Gustavo Medina, Nicholas Galbo, Thad Calvert and Matthew Johnson.

Read more Florida Keys stories from the Miami Herald

Miami Herald

Join the

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category