A Harford County Sheriff’s deputy was hospitalized Friday for heart-related issues, sources told The Dagger, a day after another deputy died of a heart attack which began at the funeral for a third member of the agency.
The deputy was hospitalized with a heart issue Friday. However, the medical problem was recognized and addressed, and the deputy was in stable condition at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Towson late Friday, where he was being kept overnight for observation, the hospital said. The Dagger has opted not to disclose his identity for privacy reasons.
Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Monica Worrell said early Saturday morning that she was not immediately aware of any deputies having suffered heart issues Friday, and said such information may not be releasable due to medical privacy laws.
The most recent health scare for the agency came one day after Sgt. Ian Loughran, 43, was found dead sometime after midnight at his Pylesville home. The state Office of the Chief Medical Examiner determined Loughran died of a heart attack, the Sheriff’s Office said in a statement, the symptoms of which began at the funeral Wednesday for Cpl. Charles Licato.
Licato, 34, died in the early morning hours of Sept. 6 in a one-car crash while driving to his home in Cecil County. Both Licato and Loughran’s deaths were considered by the agency as coming in the line of duty. As a plainclothes officer, Licato was on duty while still in Harford County, and under state law and other common policies, an officer who dies of a heart attack within 24 hours of a shift in which they performed non-routine stressful or strenuous service can be considered to have died in the line of duty.
Loughran was not alone in facing physical ailments at Licato’s funeral. Worrell confirmed that at least two people required medical attention during Licato’s funeral, and said she observed one member of a law enforcement agency other than the Sheriff’s Office being removed on a stretcher.
Worrell added that the Sheriff’s Office has “strong programs in place for grief counseling,” and that a critical incident stress management team has been working with deputies since Licato’s death. She declined to discuss broader questions about the agency’s management of its employees’ stress levels until after Loughran’s funeral.
Other members of the Harford County law enforcement community experienced a dramatic Friday, as Aberdeen Police Department officers returning from the funeral and burial of one of their own rendered assistance at the scene of a fatal accident on Route 22 Friday afternoon.
Aberdeen Police Officer Charles Armetta was killed Sept. 8 in an off-duty incident after he fell from an elevated section of Interstate 95 in Baltimore City.
Armetta’s funeral was held Friday at St. Stephen Church in Bradshaw, with interment following at Bel Air Memorial Gardens in Bel Air. A reception was scheduled to follow at the Aberdeen Volunteer Fire Department.
While traveling from the gravesite to the reception, sources said members of the department came upon the scene of a fatal crash on Route 22, near the intersection with Route 543. According to Maryland State Police, a vehicle attempting to turn left off Route 22 into the WaWa at that location collided with a motorcycle, killing its operator.
The source said Aberdeen officers stopped to assist at the scene, along with other EMS and police agencies.