Suffolk County prosecutors and State Police detectives are investigating the death of a Chelsea man at Whidden Memorial Hospital after a confrontation with Chelsea Police officers who responded to his residence for a report of an emotionally disturbed person.
The deceased has been identified as 56-year-old Dominic Graffeo. The cause and manner of his death will be determined by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.
DA Daniel Conley’s office investigates all fatalities in Suffolk County, including those that involve police officers. The Suffolk County State Police Detective Unit has jurisdiction over death investigations in Chelsea, Revere, Winthrop, and State property within the City of Boston.
The preliminary investigation suggests that the maintenance supervisor of a Hawthorne Street rooming house called Chelsea Police shortly after 7 p.m. last Thursday to report that a resident had become erratic and was destroying property in his room. On arrival, officers found that he had barricaded himself into the room. A crisis negotiator was brought to the scene but was unable to convince the man to allow the officers entry. Additional officers climbed a ladder outside the building and could see the man shirtless and bleeding profusely from unknown injuries to his arms and legs. Officers contacted the Chelsea Fire Department to assist in opening the room’s barricaded door.
When they entered, the preliminary evidence suggests, the man became violent. An officer deployed his issued Taser on the man, but he continued to struggle with them until he was handcuffed.
The man became unresponsive after being handcuffed.
Emergency medical technicians who were present assessed his condition and became concerned that he might be suffering from an opiate overdose. They administered NARCAN and rushed him to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 8:30 p.m.
Three Chelsea Police officers were also hospitalized for injuries that were not life-threatening.